Before freshmen pack their bags and kiss their families goodbye, they should know that West Virginia University plans to greet them in style with a myriad of activities during Welcome Week.

Students will spend their first week as a Mountaineer, Aug. 20-27, getting to know the campus and the many opportunities it offers. Activities �€ranging from a Welcome Picnic to New Student Convocation �€are aimed at helping first-year students feel more at home in the University City. Students are encouraged to select the activities that interest them the most.

The overall goal in establishing a Welcome Week is to help connect first-year students to the University right away,said Regan Bruni, New Student Orientation coordinator.We want to help them begin a successful career at West Virginia University.

Each day of the week has a theme and focused activities, she added. While any student may participate, Bruni said Friday, Aug. 20, through Sunday, Aug. 22, are geared toward first-year students.

On Friday, Trading Spaces Day, students will move in to the residence halls and meet their roommates. As they unpack and get situated in their rooms, they will be welcomed by resident assistants and Resident Faculty Leaders, who will provide support and guidance throughout the academic year.

Following move-in, students are encouraged to attend a Welcome Picnic and Student Organization Fair. Both will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Student Recreation Center. During these events, students will make new friends and learn about the 300-plus student clubs and organizations available to them.

Welcome Week is packed with events to kick off a successful year,said Rhonda Hall, program specialist for Residential Education.Its also an excellent opportunity for students to meet new friends and get involved on campus as soon as they arrive.

On Saturday, students will betaking care of businessat the Market Place in the Mountainlair. Here, they can pay their tuition and fees, check on financial aid, set up a local bank account and much more. Students can also get their questions answered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Help Center in E. Moore Hall. The day wraps up with Midnight Madness, an event that includes activities in the Morgantown area.

Meanwhile, Youre A Mountaineer Day kicks off at noon Sunday with New Student Convocation at the WVU Coliseum. A requirement for the freshman University 101 class, Convocation offers students a chance to hear from WVU President David C. Hardesty Jr. and Student Government Association President Jordan Workman.

On Monday, the first day of fall semester classes, WVU will hold the annual FallFest celebration at 8 p.m. on the green between the Life Sciences and Business and Economics buildings. This outdoor concert extravaganza, featuring three or four big-name acts, is attended by some 15,000 students.

Tuesday is Wellness Day at the Student Recreation Center to get students more physically active and aware of campus wellness options. Free cholesterol screenings and body fat analysis will be offered plus an aerobics class, a climbing wall competition and a blood drive. There will also be information sessions on avoiding theFreshman 15and other ways to stay healthy in college.

Wednesday, or Community Day, is a chance to learn more about Morgantown, voted one of the best small cities in the country by Mens Journal and one of the top 50 best places to live. Representatives from the Morgantown Convention&Visitors Bureau, MountainLine transportation, Main Street Morgantown, BOPARC /Rail Trail and more will be on campus to share their services with students.

WVU s diverse campus will be on display during Multicultural Day on Thursday. Students can learn about the study abroad program, international office, travel nurse and Presidents Office for Social Justice at information tables in the Lair. The day ends with the kickoff of WVUp All Night, the Universitys popular weekend entertainment program.

The week will culminate on Friday with Blue and Gold Day when students are asked to wear blue and gold to show their Mountaineer pride.

For more information about Welcome Week activities, go tohttp://www.wvu.edu/nsi/WelcomeWeek/.