Welcome home, students of Southern Nazarene University! Both new and returning students are thrilled to be back on campus after an extended summer. One of the highlights of a new semester is celebrating the new students at SNU. Every year, New Student Institute (NSI) takes place and is SNU’s way of welcoming the incoming freshmen, transfers and other new students to campus. This year, NSI began on August 8 and lasted until August 11.
Leading up to New Student Institute, several SNU students participated in LEAD retreat and training to prepare to be NSI mentors. These students helped with NSI and led the “family groups,” which are groups of students based on the learning communities that they chose. There were a total of twenty-four family groups.
The first event of NSI was the Candlelight Ceremony, which allowed students to meet their family groups, get acquainted with others and have a time of prayer and reflection. The next day consisted of a dedication service in Sawyer Center, a family group lunch, and a lawn party. One big event that took place was “Southern Style,” which was a fun southern celebration full of two-stepping, photobooths, and activities.
Misty Jaggers did a phenomenal job leading NSI this year, despite the challenges of COVID-19. This was her fourteenth year in charge of NSI. For Jaggers, the most memorable part of NSI this year was the Dedication Service. She said, “It took a lot of work to transform Sawyer with the necessary sound and video equipment but it was well worth it to see so many new students and their families worshipping together. This class of freshman students and their families had so many meaningful ceremonies canceled or postponed last spring so it was special to see this ceremony happen for them.”
Tyler Wheatley, a senior at SNU, has been an NSI mentor for the past three years. When asked why he wanted to be an NSI mentor, Tyler replied, “so that I could give other people the experience I got and help them feel welcome.” His favorite memory was the night that he got to meet the new students. Tyler believes that NSI is important because it helps the students feel welcomed on campus. He would recommend being a mentor to others because “it’s fun, and it’s awesome to get to meet the new class.”
Even though there were some changes, NSI 2020 was definitely one to remember! Everyone is excited to be back on campus and begin the new semester, and we cannot wait to see what God will accomplish this semester! To get connected with student life, check out @snulife1899 on Instagram!