Picnic Attracts Enthusiastic Crowd During Campus Kickoff Week

Ireland Miller and Janiah Moore

On Tuesday, Aug. 29, students gathered at the Science Mall, right at the heart of the campus, to network and grab some free food and giveaways. It was hard to not engage in that event since it was impossible to not pass it while walking to class.

Dean of the College of Science, Ronald Friedman surrounded by fellow colleagues at the College of Science booth.
Dean of the College of Science, Ronald Friedman surrounded by fellow colleagues at the College of Science booth.

“The goal of the Don’s College Picnic is to create, foster, and build pride for the university in general and colleges, like the College of Science, in particular,” said the Dean of the College of Science, Ronald Friedman.

The event served mainly as an information hub for those wanting to learn about the different colleges, degrees, and possible career opportunities found throughout campus.

There were 16 booths found at the picnic, such as the Career Development Center, Dormer School of Business, The College of Liberal Arts, the School of Education, and the Student Activities Board, among others, allowing students to connect and network with their fellow classmates and PFW staff. 

Students lined up early to check in for the anticipated event, with about 500 students attending within the first hour and a half of the picnic, according to Dean of the School of Education, Isabel Nuñez.

PFW has organized at least ten “Welcome Back to School” events between Aug. 22 and Aug. 31. The University also has hosted events for both high school students and future students, Nuñez said. 

Members of the Student Activities Board pose for a picture as another student signs up for the board.

PFW senior Brittany May heard about the picnic from the Student Activities Board (SAB) Instagram.

“I try to hit up all PFW events on campus for the fun and free giveaways,” said May.

There were free sandwiches from Firehouse Subs and Subway, and giveaways for items like notepads, pens, lunchboxes, and umbrellas. Students also could get a free T-Shirt from the College of Liberal Arts. 

“They had shirts, pins, and bottle holders that they were giving away,” said Emily Tyler, a PFW Psychology student. “I grabbed one of each.”

According to Tyler, everyone at the booths were so approachable and nice.

“It was very easy to walk right up and engage in a conversation while learning things about my college that I didn’t know, even going into my senior year of college.”

For Nursing student Paige Cavanaugh, the food was the favorite part of the event. 

The food and giveaway ticket every student was handed once checking in.

“With this hot weather, the only thing that really keeps me focused is the next meal I’m going to eat,” Cavanaugh said. “It definitely helps balance the knowledge that is gained during these sorts of things.”

The Don’s College Picnic is a considerable way for students to meet staff and faculty helping at the booths. It also builds connections and associations with their colleges as well. 

“For example, a psychology or biology major cannot help but realize those departments are part of the College of Science when they visit our table,” Dean Friedman said. 

To stay informed on what happens around campus this semester, visit the Purdue University Fort Wayne website and check out the upcoming events calendar. 

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