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University of Iowa News Release


Aug. 10, 2011

Media advisory: UI welcomes diverse incoming class with special immersion program, orientations

WHAT: On Iowa! Activities ranging from a presidential block party to a convocation and a Kinnick Kickoff event will take place Aug. 17-21 as part of On Iowa!, an immersion program for all incoming first-year students. Special orientation activities for new international students are also underway with several events this coming Sunday, Aug. 14. All of these activities are designed to welcome the estimated 4,500 new students to campus (Note, the official number of new students will not be confirmed until after the first day of classes Aug. 22).

International student orientation: International student orientation activities take place Sunday, Aug. 14 through Sunday, Aug. 21. These activities include everything from immunization clinics and an ice cream social to programs on academic preparation and adjusting to Iowa weather.

The Iowa Edge: Activities ranging from a breakfast with President Sally Mason, a team challenge course and a specialized introduction to the University of Iowa will take place Monday, Aug. 15 through Thursday, Aug. 18th as part of The Iowa Edge, a program for selected African American, American Indian, Asian American, Latino/a and first-generation college students.

Many of these activities will make great photo or video opportunities for members of the media. Several from all three programs are highlighted below.

WHEN: On Iowa! activities will be Wednesday, Aug. 17 through Sunday, Aug. 21. International student orientation activities are underway with several major events Sunday, Aug. 14. The Iowa Edge Program activities are Aug. 15-18.

WHY: On Iowa! is an immersion program for all incoming first-year students that serves as a welcome and orientation. The program is designed to help students connect with each other, learn about UI traditions and begin a successful transition to college life -- in the classroom and beyond.

Many students have found that programs like The Iowa Edge ease their concerns and ensure a successful transition to university life. Program expenses for all participants are paid by a grant from the Kevin and Donna Gruneich Charitable Foundation.

International student orientation brings together small groups of undergraduate students to help them adjust to life on an American campus in a new culture. A specialized orientation is also provided for international graduate students.

WHO: An estimated 4,500 new UI students will arrive on campus this fall, with both domestic and international diversity expected to increase based on admissions projections, although the overall number will remain relatively stable this fall.


Sunday, Aug. 14:

-- 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.: An opening luncheon will be held for all incoming international students in the Iowa Memorial Union Main Ballroom including an interactive game titled, "Who Wants To Be A Hawkeye?"

-- 4 to 5:30 p.m. – The public is invited to a traditional square dance, also in the IMU Main Ballroom, where participants can do-si-do with new UI international students.

Monday, Aug. 15:
-- 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. – The Iowa Edge Family Orientation to welcome new students and family members, C20 Pomerantz Center
-- 5 to 6:30 p.m. – The Iowa Edge Student Orientation and Dinner, opportunity to begin building a connection with peers. 2nd Floor Ballroom, Iowa Memorial Union
Tuesday, Aug. 16:
-- 8 to 9 a.m. – Breakfast with President Mason, Burge Dining Hall as part of the Iowa Edge program

-- 9:30 to 11:30 am – Introduction to Campus Life with Val Garr, Jones Commons, Lindquist Center, The Iowa Edge Program.

-- 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. – Cultural and Resource Center tours and dinner, The Iowa Edge Program.

Friday, Aug. 19:

-- 4 to 9:30 p.m. -- On Iowa! kickoff at Kinnick Stadium with a group class photo. New students will take the field at Kinnick Stadium and learn why it's great to be a Hawkeye. A surprise keynote speaker will welcome students, they will learn the "Iowa Fight Song" with 4,500 classmates and have dinner in the stands. Organizers say there will be lots of memorable surprises in store for the Class of 2015 at this once-in-a-lifetime event. This event is not open to the public.

Saturday, Aug. 20:

-- 10 p.m. to midnight – DJ Concert at Hubbard Park, DJ duo White Panda will be mashing it up for students during a laser light show. More than 4,500 first-year students will dance the night away with glow sticks. (Rain location is the UI Field House, Main Deck.)

Sunday, Aug. 21:

-- 4 to 5 p.m – New UI students will meet on the east lawn of the Pentacrest for an official welcome from UI President Sally Mason and UI faculty and staff as part of the UI Class of 2015 Convocation. At that time, students will commit to being a Hawkeye at a ceremony, which includes a speaker representing the first-year class.

-- 5 to 7 p.m – A UI Presidential Block Party will be held at President Mason's residence including food and entertainment. Mason welcomes new students to her home for a cookout and celebration to wrap up the On Iowa! experience.

MORE DETAILS: A complete schedule of On Iowa! activities can be found at:

For more information on On Iowa! activities, contact Emil Rinderspacher, senior associate director, Office of Admissions,, 319-335-1494; Sarah Hansen, director of assessment and strategic initiatives, Office of the Vice President for Student Life,, 319-335-1168.

For more information on international student orientation, contact Scott King, assistant dean of International Programs and director of the Office of International Students and Scholars, at 319-335-0335 (office), 319-331-7684 (cell).

A complete schedule about The Iowa Edge can be found at: For more information on The Iowa Edge activities, contact Andy Freeman, Center for Diversity and Enrichment at, 319-335-1427.

BACKGROUND: Related release about On Iowa!:

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Emil Rinderspacher, senior associate director, Office of Admissions,, 319-335-1494; Scott King, Office of International Students and Scholars, 319-335-0335 (office), 319-331-7684 (cell),; Eric Page, 319-384-0018,; or Lois J. Gray, 319-384-0077,