Virtual Welcome Weekend Aug. 22-23

Cal U plans a series of events to prepare students for the start of remote learning and online classes on Aug. 24.


Cal U Communications

Cal U plans a virtual Welcome Weekend Aug. 22-23 as the University prepares for the start of fall semester classes.

The University will be operating remotely for the fall semester, which begins Aug. 24, because of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. Read more about Cal U’s plans for the fall semester.

The virtual program Aug. 22-23 features a series of events to introduce students to college life using D2L Brightspace, Cal U’s online learning delivery platform.

To register for Welcome Weekend virtual events and more information about activities and sessions, visit

“Everything will be done online, and we’ve developed a program that has all the educational components we’ve always had, with some entertainment options, because we know these are important for our first-year students,” said Melissa Dunn, director of Student Activities and Leadership.

“We have transitioned quickly to a virtual program, and our new students have all used D2L during the New Student Orientations over the summer, so they can easily participate during Welcome Weekend.”

An opening session, “Best Tools to be Successful at Cal U,” which includes a video welcome from Cal U President Geraldine M. Jones, and frequently asked questions, will be offered on both days.

Other sessions include:

Hypnotist Eric Mina, who will share his personal story of overcoming adversity and helping students unlock their potential with fun exercises and demonstrations at 4 p.m. Aug. 22

Brian Miller, who will present his “Beyond Networking” workshop, which teaches students how to communicate effectively and make meaningful connections in a virtual world, at 5 and 7 p.m. Aug. 22

Speaker Mike Fritz, who will share his secrets of college success and importance of campus involvement, at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Aug. 23

Comedian Derrick Knopsnyder, who will present “Social Social Distancing,” at 9 p.m. Aug. 23.

Students can also create their own dry eraser board, play virtual games with multiple players, and register to create full-color street signs with customized text and background that can be shipped to their home.

“The students love these sort of ‘make-and-takes,’ and the activities are like a little piece of Cal U being sent home to them,” Dunn said. “They will find our speakers to be engaging, smart, amusing and very enjoyable.”

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day, Vulcan Village, which will remain open to residents during the fall semester, will have information tents with a variety of information, including bus schedule information and mask distribution. Grab-and-go novelty items and snacks will be available 7-9 p.m. Aug. 22-23.

Students can use the Suitable app to earn points and badges for completing tasks and participating in activities and programs during the virtual Welcome Weekend and throughout the first 30 days of the fall semester.

“We have to make sure we are providing that Cal U experience to our students, and for this semester that will be done virtually,” said Dunn, who is coordinating Welcome Weekend with Terry Carnathan, coordinator of Informal Recreation and Wellness.

“We are offering our students as much as we can from our original live format, and are still very excited to have the opportunity to give the Welcome Weekend experience for our new students.”

For more information on Cal U’s 2020 virtual Welcome Weekend visit or email [email protected] or [email protected].