Campus Life

After the holidays, get back into the swing with Welcome Week events

A variety of events will be held Jan. 5 through Feb. 5

Students posed as they were sketched by a caricature artist during Welcome Week in 2018. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Eighteen events are scheduled for the spring semester Welcome Week, which runs from Jan. 5 to Feb. 5, and culminates in Spring Career Days.

All students are invited to most events, be they change-of-campus, transfer, new or returning students to the University Park campus. It’s a chance for everyone to make new connections, said Molly Nulty, assistant director of welcome programs for Student Orientation and Transition Programs, and a way for students to reorient back to college life.

“January can be a challenging time for any student,” Nulty said. “Those who are new to University Park are coming in a much smaller cohort than those who started in the fall. For those students returning to campus, it can take some time to adjust to being back on campus after a few weeks away. Our hope is that these Welcome Week events will help all students in their transition to campus for the start of the spring semester.”

Signature events, which are required for new students, start Jan. 5 with “Rock the Ice” at Pegula Ice Arena. The event features live music, skating, broomball, a photo booth and caricature artist. Skate rentals are available at no charge and snacks will be provided.

Organizers said they have 300 tickets to hand out for “Tip Off the Semester,” when men’s basketball takes on Wisconsin at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 6 at the Bryce Jordan Center. Students are able to pick up tickets at no charge at Gate A.

The involvement fair on Jan. 7 and 8 gives students a chance to learn about organizations and ways to get involved on campus. The fair runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Alumni Hall at the HUB-Robeson Center.

On Jan. 10, Happy Valley Improv will bring its comedy to the HUB. Participation is optional, so students can come and try their hand at improv or sit back and watch the show from 7 to 9 p.m. in Heritage Hall.

The final signature event will be the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Jan. 21. No classes take place on this federal holiday, and students are able to check in at 10 a.m. in Alumni Hall to learn where their volunteer time can be used in the community.

A full list of events can be found at

Student Orientation and Transition Programs is part of Penn State Student Affairs and Penn State Undergraduate Education. Penn State Undergraduate Education is the academic administrative unit that provides leadership and coordination for University-wide programs and initiatives in support of undergraduate teaching and learning at Penn State. Learn more about Undergraduate Education at

Last Updated January 03, 2019