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OBU Welcomes New, Returning Students to Campus on Move-In Day Aug. 19

August 19, 2023

OBU celebrated the arrival of new and returning students Saturday, Aug. 19, during the University’s annual Move-In Day. The day is the kickoff to Welcome Week, a special week each year where new students are welcomed into the Bison family.

As new students and their families arrive to their residence centers in their vehicles, upperclassmen greet them with cheers of celebration and shake their cars to welcome them officially to Bison Hill. The upperclassmen, also known as Welcome Week Workers or Tri-W’s, then personally deliver all the students’ belongings to their rooms, allowing the new students and their families to enjoy the moment as they are warmly welcomed into the OBU family.

“Most everyone coming here has first-day nerves, first-day jitters,” said incoming freshman Caden Bailey of Frisco, Texas, who will be majoring in Biblical studies. “But coming in and having students shake your car and take your stuff for you, makes you feel like you are already part of OBU and what it stands for.”

Dylanne Nelson of Tulsa, an incoming freshman majoring in English education, was among the first to come around the oval and arrive at the WMU Residence Center. She said the welcome sent a message straight to her heart.

“It was really cool,” she said. “I have that feeling that this is the place I’m meant to be, and I can continue to grow here. I’m excited to see how God will work in my life.” 

That excitement is not limited to freshmen on Move-In Day. Haley Myers, a senior nursing major from Edmond, was among those helping to unload cars.

“Today I’m literally remembering when I was a freshman,” she said. “Now I’m getting to pray over them and be excited for these freshmen. I love OBU because the Lord is at work here. The students want to seek His face and He wants to pour His love on us.”

It’s also a special day for parents. Richard Conde of Temple, Texas was sitting and smiling in his pickup while waiting to pull forward at the WMU Residence Center. His daughter Payten Conde will be a freshman student athlete, majoring in exercise science and playing basketball for the Bison.

“This just warms my heart as a parent,” he said. “Everybody has been so nice. As parents, it makes us feel comfortable that we can drive five hours home and know that she’s in a good place.”

Later in the day following a separate student orientation and parent orientation, families and friends share a special time to say goodbye to their students and pray together, before heading home. Students then begin the full Welcome Week experience, including familiarizing themselves with campus, getting to know other students, and numerous events such as the President’s Vision and Worship, Ka-Rip Wars, Serve Shawnee, The Walk and Spotlight on Shawnee.

OBU President Dr. Heath A. Thomas was making his way back-and-forth across campus as students and parents arrived Saturday for Move-In Day.

“Parents get to see the excitement and know that their child is going to be cared for, that there is a community of support around them and that this is a fun and safe place to be,” Thomas said. “All of that is communicated in their first moments on Bison Hill.”

That message carries for a lifetime.

“Bison Hill is about relationships,” Thomas said. “Those that come here will forever be Bison and that means something.”

Welcome Week Highlights

Sunday, August 20

Monday, August 21

Tuesday, August 22

Thursday, August 24