Houston Baptist University (HBU) celebrated the return to on-campus classes for the Fall 2021 semester with a record number of freshmen enrolled for the semester. This marks the first time that students have attended full-time in-person classes since the University shifted to hybrid classes in response to the pandemic.
New students converged on the HBU campus, Aug. 27-29, for Welcome Days, a three-day extended orientation program, themed “The Magic Starts Here.” In preparation for the return to full-time residential learning, students were encouraged to follow the Husky Strong Task Force “Defense, Disinfect, and Density” goals as the campus opened to full capacity with masks optional.
Freshmen and transfer students moved into residential dormitories and apartments during the weekend and participated in long-standing HBU traditions, including the Beanie and Torch Passing ceremonies, learning HBU’s “Hail the Orange and Blue” Alma Mater song, the HBU Fight song and DAWGS Up sign. HBU President Dr. Robert Sloan concluded the weekend with a Sunday worship service in the Linda and Archie Dunham Theater in which he thanked students for choosing to attend HBU and spoke words of faith over their lives.
“God is going to use this experience at this University, with these professors and staff and the friends that you’ll make. He is going to use these circumstances and these people to shape your life for His purposes; to cultivate your gifts and your callings, so that you may be the person that God calls you to be,” said Dr. Sloan.
Classes commenced on Monday, Aug. 30, with students rounding out activities with a number of events, including the celebrated annual HBU tug-of-war battle where, this year, freshmen prevailed to win against their upperclassmen competitors.
“Usually our upperclassmen are victorious. But this year our freshmen came out on top. It was a great experience and we are so excited for the year to come,” said Mon’Sher Spencer, Director of Student Life of the time-honored tradition.
Photo gallery credit: Michael Tims