From Aug. 25 through Aug. 29, Arcadia welcomed all first-year and transfer students to campus, as well as all returning students, for the 2021 fall semester. The University offered a full slate of fun events that helped ingratiate students into the Arcadia community and showcased its mission and values, including the Venture Welcome Picnic; a glow in the dark roller rink event; a Rise Against Hunger event in the Great Room, where thousands of meals were packaged; and LatinX, LGBTQ, Asian Arcadians, and other affinity groups.
Hosted by the Black Alumni Association of Arcadia University (BAAAU) on Aug. 28, the inaugural Welcome Black event shined a light at the undeniable fellowship and pride within the University’s Black community. More than 100 alumni, faculty, staff, parents, and families gathered beneath the Blankley Alumni House Tent to offer a warm welcome to Arcadia’s new and returning Black students. Attendees noted a shared sense of fellowship, purpose, and joy.
“For Black students to witness their future possibilities while mingling with alumni, the Welcome Black event was epic and one for Arcadia's history books,” said Assistant Vice President of Access and Equity Dr. Angela McNeil ’01. “I was proud to be a major part of such a momentous occasion.”
“I promise that you will feel this kind of love, this kind of support, this kind of positive energy, and this kind of family feel,” said President Ajay Nair, adding: “We will not stop until you feel that sense of belonging and that you can leave your footprint on this campus and the world.”
Other University leadership in attendance included faculty and staff mentors, teachers, and advocates like Dr. Doreen Loury; Vice President for Development and Alumni Engagement Brigette A. Bryant; BAAAU co-presidents David Euwings ’06 and Sonya Gaskins ’02; former BAAAU President Aliyah Abraham ’17; former BAAAU Vice President Steve Tyson ’13M; Provost Jeff Rutenbeck; Dean of Students Andrew Goretsky; Associate Dean of Students Dian Taylor-Alleyne; and Athletics Director Brian Granata.
With a special pinning ceremony, guests transitioned from a community into a family with an unbroken bond that will remain supported during and beyond their time on campus.
“Community and tradition was created today with our pinning ceremony,” said Rakin Hall, vice president for Enrollment Management. “Young people want to feel attached to ‘something.’ This group will have a sense of identity and purpose as they persist toward graduation.”
Euwings explained that the Black Alumni Association is proud of the work that they do and are committed to work that still needs to be done. “The success of the Welcome Black event represents the positive change occurring at Arcadia—more diversity, more inclusion, and more representation.”
“Welcome Black to me signifies not only the welcoming of new Black students to the Arcadia family as they embark on this important chapter of their lives, but more importantly it’s the calling for Black alumni, who have been away from Arcadia, to return home,” said Abraham. “The energy encompassed everything I hoped the event would bring: The spirit of family ties and the continuance of Black excellence and culture.”