This past weekend, I had the unbelievable honor of being backstage during Welcome Week for new students at the WVU Coliseum.
This was an unforgettable event, complete with WVU President Gordon Gee in bow tie pants, Provost Joyce McConnell and most of the senior leadership of the University, WVU Men's Baskbetball Coach Bob Huggins, the Mountaineer with the cheerleading squad, and about 3,000 energetic freshmen.
The students were given lots of great information and advice.
The President’s main message was for the students to be themselves. Gordon Gee has made a career of being himself. By letting his true personality shine, he has become perhaps the greatest university president in history. He always stands up for what is right.
The Provost’s main message was to have fun, but go to class and take academics seriously. That’s good advice. Joyce has ascended the academic ladder from dean of the WVU College of Law to Provost of the University and has staggering talent. When she talks with a student, it is clear she truly cares about the success of every Mountaineer.
Coach Huggins’ main message was to welcome the students and let them know that once they put the Flying WV on their shirt or enter the University, they are one of us – proud Mountaineers.
Student body president George Capel told the students that he was there for them – ready to work hard to make their year better.
The Mountaineer, Michael Garcia, took the new freshman through the paces of the appropriate responses to scoring a touchdown (pushups and shooting the gun), the Let’s Go Mountaineers chant and how to celebrate a first down the WVU way.
The celebration finished with a rousing version of "Take Me Home, Country Roads" – arm in arm, swaying to the song.
Welcome, Class of 2019! You already seem like veterans, and you are one of us.