Story by Gisselle Hernandez, Contributing writer.
Days of beaches, tans and Netflix, were left behind in summer as students rolled back into Murray to begin the semester Fall 2015.
For others, it was the first time stepping onto the Murray State campus as an official Racer.
Great Beginnings, the annual tradition of honoring new students, began Saturday, Aug. 15, with freshmen moving into their residential colleges.
The event carried on Monday afternoon with the Parade of Racers that led to the Freshmen Convocation at Lovett Auditorium.
The parade began at 4 p.m. with new Racers marching from the Curris Center to Lovett Auditorium, being cheered on and warmly welcomed by the various University organizations and groups that lined the pathway to Lovett.
Freshmen received applause from the Education Abroad Office, the National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association, Greek organizations and many more.
Some groups played musical instruments such as tambourines and drums that combined with the cheers.
Upon arriving at Lovett Auditorium, students were greeted by the Racer Band performing “2001.”
After the band’s second performance, students filled the seats of the auditorium where they were officially welcomed by President Bob Davies and the vice president of the Student Government Association.
Crystal Coleman, the keynote speaker for the evening, blew the crowd away with her words of wisdom and encouragement.
After talking about celebrating the 60th anniversary of desegregation, the president’s “Sacred Selfies” and how to succeed in college, a cookout was held in the Quad where food, games and activities ensued.
Shilpa Nelakanti, a Great Beginnings Leader, said it was exciting to be able to welcome all the new students.
“It was a great experience,” she said. “I got to meet many new cultures and new people.”
The fun didn’t stop there; on Tuesday night, Campus Outreach held a massive water balloon fight at Roy Stewart Stadium around 10:30 p.m.
Hundreds of students attended, eager to get stung on the face with water or get hosed while running and throwing themselves on a homemade slip n’ slide.
Freshmen and returning students alike walked away with dripping clothes and smiling faces.
After another day of classes, freshmen got to see, and in some cases participate in, a 20-year-old tradition held at Murray State.
Tom Deluca, the well-known hypnotist, entertained students for over an hour at Lovett Auditorium on Wednesday night.
Twenty students volunteered to be hypnotized on the stage, making the audience howl with laughter as they performed comedic acts out of their control.
Great Beginnings comes to an end on Saturday, Aug. 22, with the SGA sponsoring the movie “Avengers: Age of Ultron” in the Curris Center theater at 10 p.m.
Other ongoing services are said to extend until September.
Great Beginnings is all about helping new Racers transition into their roles at Murray State.
Although moving away from home and starting a new chapter can be difficult for many freshmen, most are still excited to get involved in what Murray State has to offer.
As freshman Henry Zhong said,
“Being a Racer gets my heart racing!”