Welcome Weekend Ushers in the Class of 2020

Author: O'Neil, Alison

Welcome Weekend Ushers in the Class of 2020NDWelcome twitter

Hailing from states across the country and countries across the world, the class of 2020 gathered on Aug. 19 to celebrate Welcome Weekend. During their three days spent moving in and attending cookouts, Domerfest and the Grotto trip, the first-year students quickly transformed from a far-flung group of individuals into a unified freshman class. The busy Welcome Weekend agenda also included the first ever Day of Community in South Bend. Enthusiastic Welcome Weekend leaders from each residence hall chaperoned groups of students downtown to visit cultural points of interest. Among the attractions were Four Winds Field — home of the South Bend Cubs — and the South Bend Museum of Art. More formal events, such as academic exploration sessions geared toward specific areas of study, allowed students to focus on their intellectual passions. The freshmen also met with their advisory groups and Moreau First Year of Studies groups to receive additional academic advice and encouragement. The weekend concluded with a heartfelt Mass, after which the incoming freshmen bade temporary goodbyes to their families and officially began their new lives at Notre Dame. “My favorite activity during Welcome Weekend was the Mass at the end of the week,” freshman Clare Eilers said. “I ended up sitting with my family. My favorite moment at the Mass was singing ‘Notre Dame Our Mother’.” At once exciting, overwhelming and bittersweet, Welcome Weekend gave students the opportunity not only to transition into a college mindset, but to plan their social and academic futures. “It was kind of uncomfortable and awkward at times,” said Eilers, “but all the forced mingling helped develop new friendships, and it was an overall good experience.”