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Bulldog Beginnings Schedule Offers Varied Campus, Community Activities for Students, Faculty and Staff

PhotoRec Fest, a chance for students to explore the resources of the Ferris State University Student Recreation Center and learn about club sports opportunities, is a feature event of Bulldog Beginnings, which runs from Thursday, Aug. 26 through Saturday, Sept. 11. Rec Fest begins Monday, Aug. 30, at 6 p.m. in the Student Recreation Center.

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Ferris State University’s Center for Leadership, Activities and Career Services has collaborated with other campus groups and Big Rapids community members to assemble a 17-day schedule of Bulldog Beginnings events, which kick off Wednesday, Aug. 25, with the start of move-in days for students.

CLACS assistant Kathryn Thomas said day one of the activities includes author Jahquan Hawkins’ presentation on practical approaches to the college experience in the University Center at 11 a.m. and a showing of “Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse” on the Robinson Quad at 9 p.m.

“The plan is to assure that students have opportunities to gather and feel welcome among their campus peers,” Thomas said. “When the academic year begins Monday, Aug. 30, students will find more of our signature Bulldog Beginnings events taking place. We are proud of the schedule arranged by our committee, which includes the Office of General Counsel, University Center leadership, Grounds personnel, Dining Services and University Catering, and Activities and Career Services. Our co-chairs Angela Roman and Eric Haner have given us great direction to allow for a winning roster of activities.”

The Bulldog Welcome and Carnival event is at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 27, at Top Taggart Field. Saturday kicks off with Greeks on the Quad beginning at 10 a.m. and concludes with UC Late Night in the University Center building at 9 p.m. Sunday includes additional events to welcome students to campus and help prepare them for success ahead of classes, which begin on Monday, Aug. 30. 

Thomas noted a fresh addition to Bulldog Beginnings is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 1, with a bonfire and pep rally for the Ferris football opener the following evening, as the Bulldogs host the University of Findlay.

“We are excited about the chance to return to athletic events on campus, along with the resumption of outdoor campus activities that evening,” Thomas said. “The Ferris Food Truck will be on-site, there will be live music, and we will have giveaways for students throughout our schedule. We are really looking forward to it.”

A high point of Bulldog Beginnings is Founders’ Day, Thursday, Sept. 2, commemorating the Big Rapids Industrial School establishment in 1884 and coinciding with the return to action for Ferris’ football team, a perennial NCAA Division II powerhouse.

“There will be a 9 a.m. groundbreaking for the Center for Virtual Learning on the Robinson Quad, a variety of activities in the University Center, and the picnic for students, faculty and staff that afternoon,” Thomas said. “The Founders’ Day Extravaganza begins at 3 p.m. this year, with the entire community welcomed to the Robinson Quad for free ice cream and the chance to learn about volunteer opportunities, registered student organizations along with a variety of games and prize drawings.”

Founders’ Day also includes the dedication of an alumni wall inside the University Center, beginning at 10:30 a.m., and the re-dedication of the Woodbridge N. Ferris statue, starting at noon.

Thomas noted an opportunity to explore Big Rapids on Friday, Sept. 3, with a free night at the Big Rapids Roller Rink, beginning at 10 p.m. Then, on Sept. 10 at 11 a.m. is an excursion, with CLACS staff, to the Big Rapids Farmers Market, walking from the University Center to the city’s downtown area.

“Carlleen Rose, a 2019 Honorary Bulldog alumna, will guide a walking tour of the downtown, which we will cap with a rooftop photo opportunity in the center of downtown,” Thomas said. “This event should be a great opportunity to get acquainted with or find new enjoyment from the university’s hometown.”

Following the Labor Day holiday are more gatherings centered on the Robinson Quad, including the Bulldog Bonanza from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 8. A live concert sponsored by the Music and Entertainment Business Association and Ferris’ Entertainment Unlimited is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 10 at 8 p.m. The University Center is busy Saturday, Sept. 11, Thomas said, as participants in the Big Alleyway Cleanup head out from the CLACS offices at 11 a.m. The campus community is welcomed to the UC Ballroom at 9 p.m. for Trivia Night.

“Bulldog Beginnings is a great time to make new friends, find organizations on or off campus, in keeping with our interests, while learning more about our campus and community,” Thomas said. “At nearly every event, there will be giveaways and free food to enjoy, so we hope everyone makes time and takes part in their favorites.”