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KNOXVILLE—This weekend, students will head to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, to kick off the 2011–2012 school year, and Rocky Top is ready for them.

Welcome Week, a long-standing tradition at UT that gives students a glimpse of campus life, begins Saturday, August 13, as both new and returning students move into residence halls. Female students will begin check-in at 8:00 a.m.; male students will start check-in at 2:00 p.m.

Welcome Week Check-in will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday at Thompson-Boling Arena, where students will meet their Official Welcome Leaders. Then, at 7:00 p.m. on Monday freshmen will assemble at Thompson-Boling Arena for Torch Night—a ceremony that has “passed the torch” to new students each year since 1925. Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek will officially welcome the Class of 2015, and then the students will be led into Neyland Stadium to learn about some great athletic traditions from coaching staff.

This year’s freshman class boasts an academically accomplished and diverse group of 4,200 students.

“Welcome Week is a wonderful blend of old and new campus traditions and new faces and programs,” said Susan Martin, provost and senior vice chancellor. “It is a great way to introduce students to the resources we have at UT to help them get off to the right start academically.”

Two key Welcome Week activities designed to help get new students acclimated to campus are:

• Passport to Success, Meet your College 3:00 p.m. Sunday, August 14. The Passport to Success tour guides new students through key campus locations with the help of knowledgeable college veterans.

• Life of the Mind author presentation, 8:30-10:00 a.m. Monday, Aug. 15 at Thompson-Boling Arena. This year’s featured author is Rebecca Skloot, who wrote “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” Book discussions will take place following the presentation from 10:30 to 10:45 a.m. Students can find their number and location by visiting

Sorority and fraternity recruitment orientation sessions also will occur during Welcome Week. Sorority Recruitment Orientation will take place from 7 to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 13, in the Alumni Memorial Building’s Cox Auditorium.

Fraternity recruitment information will be available throughout Welcome Week. The first opportunity to visit one of the information booths will be from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 15, in Presidential Courtyard.

Other Welcome Week activities include:

• Sunday, August 14: Freshman CarniVOL Cookout, 5:00 p.m. in Presidential Courtyard

• Sunday, August 14: Caribbean Splash Jam, 8:30 p.m. at TRECS outdoor pool

• Monday, August 15: Video Dance Party, 9:30 p.m. in Presidential Courtyard

• Tuesday, August 16: Rec Fest, 5:00 p.m. on the TRECS Plaza

• Thursday, August 18: InVOLvement Fair and Diversity Festival, 3-7:00 p.m. at the Pedestrian Walkway

For a complete schedule of and more information about Welcome Week events and activities, visit the Welcome Week website at