College of Business faculty and staff, upper classman and corporate sponsors alike rolled out the red carpet for this year’s 560 College of Business incoming freshmen and new transfer students.
“With a full roster of activities that include many first-of-its-kind events, the Class of 2011 can’t help but feel welcome” said Victor Mullins, associate dean for Undergraduate Affairs.
The welcome events began on Sunday, August 19, in a ceremony for the Class of 2011 Honors Program hosted by John Hedeman, assistant dean for the Undergraduate Affairs Honors Program. Freshmen welcome week concludes Saturday, September 8, with a first-ever Business Freshmen Football Tailgate at the University of Illinois kickoff game against Western Illinois.
The freshmen convocation took place on Monday, August 20, in Lincoln Hall Auditorium, followed by the traditional class photo.
“You are now part of the undergraduate business family,” Mullins told students in his convocation address. “We expect you all to succeed and to get involved in the extracurricular life of the College and this great campus,” added Jason Mueller, Student Moderator.
Convocation speakers included Acting Dean Greg Oldham and David Ikenberry, head of the Finance Department, who welcomed students on behalf of the faculty and staff. Krisinda Doherty spoke on behalf of the Council of Presidents and urged students to get connected right away at the Business Quad Day.
New to this year’s convocation was a panel of students including Katie Holcomb, Justin Rivera, Ernest Baker, and Catherine Lien. “We made a point to include students addressing and advising students,” said Mullins. “They are unequivocally the best resource we have to share their stories along the road that will help lead to success in the College.”
Rutvij Desai, finance and accounting senior, had some advice for the new class which he summed up in his favorite quote, “Aim for the stars and you’ll definitely get the moon,” he said. “Take the Illini legacy with you throughout your experience here and keep prospering in everything you do.”
Also new in this year’s schedule was a diversity luncheon held Tuesday, August 21 and sponsored by KPMG for the 105 African American, Hispanic and Native American freshmen. Keynote speaker Manny Fernandez, National Partner, KPMG, gave a motivational speech and was accompanied by 20 fellow KPMG team members from across the country.
The Council of Presidents and Ernst & Young sponsored this year’s College of Business Quad Day, held Thursday, August 23, which included information and representatives from 34 student clubs and organizations. Among them was a new student networking group, the Future Business Alumni Leaders (FBAL), open to students from all classes who wish to start engaging with the alumni community before they graduate.
Also present was staff from the Department of Business Administration, distributing brochures and answering questions on the series of new majors that are a welcome change to the former “Business Administration” transcript title and part of an expanded curriculum. Launched this fall 2007 semester, the majors will more accurately reflect academic studies to recruiters and will also allow students the option of obtaining a double major. An informational session for all interested students will be held on Monday, September 17.
Darryl Cheeks, president & CEO, ChicagoLand Companies (’90 alumnus), will be the featured speaker at a diversity seminar on Saturday, September 8. He will discuss the value of forming networks, building relationships, working together and reaching goals. The seminar is mandatory for all College of Business freshmen.
“All of the various diversity components this year are designed to give first-year students an appreciation of forming relationships with people from different backgrounds and experiences,” said Mullins.
As an added bonus, the first 80 students attending the Daryl Cheeks diversity seminar (and wearing their freshmen Business t-shirt) will receive a free ticket to the September 8 home football game, he added.
College freshmen welcome events will culminate in a Business Freshmen Football Tailgate from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 8. Sponsored by Philip Morris, USA, and hosted by the Business Academic Advisors, it’s an inaugural event that Mullins said he anticipates will be a regular event in future years.
“We’ve got 100 seats blocked off in the stadium,” added Mullins. “The College of Business contingent will be a very visible and audible group of fans.”