Following an exciting groundbreaking ceremony for a new Bioscience Innovation Building on their Hammond Campus, Purdue University Northwest (PNW) invited new and returning students, faculty, and community leaders to a fall semester Welcome Rally. The festivity effectively kicked off the semester with a wealth of information about extracurricular groups, campus resources, and opportunities to get involved with PNW’s many enriching activities. Plus, from slushies and caramel apples to t-shirts and gift bags, the numerous giveaways made the start of classes a little sweeter.
PNW’s Hammond Campus Welcome Rally wound throughout the northwestern corner of the campus, maintaining a large crowd of incoming freshmen in their free gear, nursing students in scrubs, cheerleaders, athletes, and international students representing their countries. Government officials such as State Representative Julie Olthoff mingled with the rest of the crowd, and Purdue Northwest Chancellor Thomas L. Keon could be seen weaving through the crowd in his straw hat, taking selfies with students.
The event provided a wonderful representation of PNW’s diversity, as well as the measures of engagement the college promotes to ensure students have an active, successful life on campus and beyond. Everyone in attendance was feeling the PNW Pride.
One of the attendees was Stephen Kamps, a freshman studying Mechatronic Engineering Technology.
“Robots!” Kamps said, explaining the basics of his major.
Kamps has always had an interest in robotics, but their increased presence in the workforce is what convinced him to pursue a career focused on them.
“Now, it’s become more of a reality, because in the past it’s been kind of like this fiction. Now, people are actually starting to use this technology. I want to be part of that,” Kamps said. “[I’m interested in] maximizing efficiency, as far as processing, as in making things. Not to completely replace humans in businesses, but robots can make things a lot faster. That’s the plan!”
Kamps enjoyed the rally in all aspects.
“I love it! Everyone is extremely welcoming, everyone is happy and excited,” Kamps said, then laughed. “I have to say, though, my favorite part is definitely the free handouts…they got me!”
Sarah Ericson, a senior studying hospitality, shared the same affinity as Kamps. Ericson enjoyed a day spent with all of the friends she’s made in her time at PNW.
“I never expected to become as close with the people I’ve met here as I [have,]” Ericson said. “But here we are! We have a great time. I love this day because we get to catch up and hit all the stands together and get free stuff!”
When asked what she was most looking forward to this school year, Ericson laughed.
“Graduating!” she joked. “I will miss these guys, though. It’s going to be a great year.”
With the new Bioscience building in the works, and the influx of more potential and opportunity for students, it’s safe to say that this year, PNW saw one of the best Welcome Rallies yet.
Purdue University Northwest is a premier university located in northwest Indiana, boasting more than 70 fields of study, a 16-to-1 student-faculty ratio, students from 45 countries and 33 states and NCAA Division II athletics. Learn more about Purdue Northwest at www.pnw.edu.