DePaul’s first new student academic convocation, the Blue Demon Welcome, will take place on Sept. 10 at Wintrust Arena. The Blue Demon Welcome is the first formal gathering for the new academic class and marks the beginning of their college journey. While the event is designed for new students, the university invites faculty and staff to sign up to volunteer for the welcome
An objective of DePaul’s strategic plan, Grounded in Mission: The Plan for DePaul 2024
, the welcome will help create an inclusive and engaging experience for all students, deepening their sense of belonging at DePaul and with their peers.
President A. Gabriel Esteban, Interim Provost Salma Ghanem and Student Government Association President Gisselle Cervantes will speak at the event. Cervantes also will serve as the master of ceremonies. College deans and members of the president’s cabinet will join them as part of the stage party in full regalia.
“When students graduate from DePaul, the president, the provost and their college dean will be on stage to congratulate them,” says Eugene L. Zdziarski, vice president for Student Affairs. “As they begin their career at DePaul, it is only fitting these same individuals be there to welcome them as members of our academic community.”
The university has asked all new students to wear the DePaul "Playing Possessed" t-shirt they received as part of their welcome packets in order to achieve a uniform look, just as they will at commencement. New students also will recite a new student oath marking their commitment to live out DePaul’s mission
“Blue Demon Welcome is a student’s first opportunity to see themselves as part of the university community,” Zdziarski says. “While students are introduced to DePaul through orientation and begin to make strong and lasting connections with the students in their Chicago Quarter classes, Blue Demon Welcome provides new students the opportunity to make a connection with their college, with the class of 2023 and with the entire Blue Demon family.”
New Student Service Day for Discover Chicago students and an Explore the Loop event for others will immediately follow the welcome. Bus transportation for students will be available to and from both campuses before and after the Blue Demon Welcome.
“Blue Demon Welcome is an opportunity to help students understand the connection between starting their academic careers and moving toward commencement,” says Tom Menchhofer, the director of New Student and Family Engagement and co-chair of the planning committee that developed the event. “This new student convocation shares elements with commencement ceremonies, through formal elements like a stage party in regalia, and celebratory elements like a balloon drop and pep band.”
More than 100 volunteers are needed to stage the event. Sign up to assist here if you are interested in helping welcome new students to DePaul.