Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2012-08-15

The Samford University campus is beginning to bustle with students and faculty readying for a new fall semester and academic year. While classes for the majority of undergraduate students will begin on Monday, Aug. 27, most graduate programs have a start date of August 20.

Some groups-such as sports teams, band members and student leaders-have been arriving over the past week to begin practices and other preparations. The final orientation session for new undergraduate students will be August 23-24.

The 359-member faculty, including 27 new hires, will begin a week-long series of general workshop sessions and departmental meetings on Monday, Aug. 20. Also on that day, all employees may participate in a 9 a.m. worship service in Reid Chapel and attend a State of the University address by president Andrew Westmoreland at 10:10 a.m. in Wright Center.

Freshman move-in day, traditionally one of the most exciting times for new students and their parents, will take place on Friday morning, Aug. 24.  Scores of volunteers will be in place to assist with unloading and carting clothes and other essentials into freshman residence halls.  The Family Welcome program will be at 4 p.m. in Wright Center.

Connections events for the new students will include residence hall meetings and small group sessions Aug. 24-26. Treats include an ice cream social at the President's House on Saturday afternoon followed by dinner at various Birmingham restaurants and a night getting to know the city.

Sunday, Aug. 26, highlights include the 9:15 a.m. presentation of the Class of 2016 on Centennial Walk, followed by worship in Reid Chapel.  That night, upperclassmen who have re-settled into their familiar spaces will join the new students for an outdoor concert by the rock band Mutemath and reggae/rock musician Matisyahu. The first week of classes will also feature an array of Welcome Back events with recreation and fellowship opportunities.

The semester-opening university convocation will take place Tuesday, Aug. 28, at 10 a.m. in Wright Center. The John H. Buchanan Award for Teaching Excellence will be presented. Beeson Divinity School's opening convocation will follow at 11 a.m. in Hodges Chapel. Distinguished pastor and theologian Dr. James Earl Massey will speak at the Beeson convocation.

The fall enrollment is expected to top 4,800, a new Samford high.  More than 2,100 students will live in campus residence halls, another projected record.