For the first time in more than 40 years, Marshall University will conduct a Freshman Convocation on Sunday as a windup to Welcome Weekend. Fall classes begin Monday.

The convocation, last at Marshall in 1964, is the formal event that welcomes new students to the university. It begins at 3 p.m. at Cam Henderson Center and features remarks from President Stephen J. Kopp, Provost Sarah Denman, Dean of Student Affairs Steve Hensley, head football coach Mark Snyder and others.

“The purpose of the convocation is a simple one,” Hensley said. “It is to inform students of the obligations and opportunities that await them at Marshall.”

Each student who attends the convocation will receive a special gift. After the event, students will join together for a class picture at Memorial Fountain, then have the opportunity to walk through campus buildings in preparation for classes starting the next day. At 5 p.m., attendees are invited to the campus picnic to be conducted on Buskirk Field.

Welcome Weekend begins today and runs through Sunday. The highlight of Friday’s activities is the family picnic on the Memorial Student Center plaza that begins at 4:30 p.m. The Marching Thunder will perform at the picnic. Students will move into their rooms throughout the day.

Several offices on campus will be open additional hours this weekend. The offices of admissions, financial aid, bursar and the registrar will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and the bursar’s office will be open from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday.

Many events, such as a corn hole tournament, a dodgeball club tournament, a program called “Playfair” and a concert by Gyfted, are planned on Saturday.

“Welcome Weekend 2006 will allow our new students the opportunity to meet and interact with their fellow classmates, find the location of their classes and participate in the fun-filled events that we have planned throughout the weekend,” Margaret Brown, coordinator of Welcome Weekend, said.

Brown encourages all students to attend “Playfair,” which starts at 4 p.m. “It will be the ultimate icebreaker,” she said. “This is not just any event. It is a powerful program that will promote campus unity and school spirit.”

New students and their families also will have access to Marshall’s recreational facilities, including basketball and racquetball courts, the pool in Henderson Center and the fitness center.

“Welcome Weekend 2006 will be a spectacular event that will show everyone that ‘We Are … Marshall’,” Brown said.

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