Freshmen Receive "Big E Welcome"

Published on August 18, 2016

Well over 2,000 first-year students received a “Big E Welcome” when they arrived at Eastern Kentucky University on Wednesday, Aug. 17.

A series of events continuing through Sunday, Aug. 21, will prepare the freshmen and transfer students for the collegiate experience, both inside and outside the classroom, and allow them to build valuable friendships and connections.

A total of approximately 17,000 students are expected for EKU’s fall term – either on the main campus in Richmond; one of the University’s regional campuses; or online. The near-record numbers are matched by continued improvements in retention and graduation rates, as well as the record-level academic preparedness of incoming classes.

Returning students will see several changes since last spring, most notably construction progress on two new residence halls, both slated to open in Fall 2017, and Phase 2 of the New Science Building, to open in January 2018; as well as the early stages of construction of a new dining hall, with completion expected in late 2017.

For new students, perhaps the most notable addition to campus is The Turner Gate, a new pedestrian gateway through which all the freshmen walked as a group on Wednesday evening, symbolizing their entrance into the Eastern family. Nearby, Carloftis Gardens will be dedicated later this fall.

Many more improvements are planned in the coming years as EKU continues with an ambitious campus revitalization plan designed to transform the living and learning experience at the University.

In addition to move-in, “Big E Welcome” events, many led by Colonel Crew Leaders (current EKU students), include:

·         parent and family sessions.

·         Traditions Night, at which students learn chants and cheers associated with EKU Athletics.

·         Big E Bash, hosted by EKU Campus Recreation.

·         Playfair, an entertainment and team-building event.

·         college open houses.

·         alcohol awareness programming.

·         comedy show

·         movie night

·         “Colonels in the Classroom,” at which faculty and staff members will share what students can expect on their first day.

·         “Zero Shades of Gray,” a program about the seriousness of sexual assault.

·         Keen Johnson Extravaganza, casino table games, bingo, glow dance party and more.

·         Richmond Connection, a chance to explore the community beyond the confines of campus.

·         student success programming

·         concerts featuring Civil Twilight and WindSync

·         convocation and President’s Picnic

·         residence hall community meetings

·         Meijer Mania, with shuttles provided to the Richmond Centre store, where students will find giveaways, prizes and special deals.

·         and, of course, plenty of food.

The "Big E Welcome" also encompasses regional campus students.

For more information about the five-day event, including a complete schedule, visit