In this 2015 photo, hundreds of VCU students parade through the Monroe Park Campus for the Ram Spirit Walk.
In this 2015 photo, hundreds of VCU students parade through the Monroe Park Campus for the Ram Spirit Walk. (File photo)

Socialize, acclimate and engage at Weeks of Welcome events

The annual series of events and programs to mark the beginning of the school year includes a variety of informative, social and celebratory happenings for students.

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Editor’s note: VCU continues to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic. For the latest on the university’s pandemic response, fall semester plans and public health protocols, visit

Weeks of Welcome, a series of events from Aug. 21 to Sept. 19 for new and returning students to Virginia Commonwealth University, sets an exciting tone for the academic year ahead, with a wide offering of festive and informative events.

Over a hundred events hosted by dozens of campus offices and organizations create chances to access resources, as well as ways to get involved and connect at VCU. The monthlong stretch of events and programs at places like the Campus Learning Center and Writing Center also introduces students to resources that will come in handy all semester long, particularly at exam time.

Get to know more about: the College of Humanities and Sciences, RecWell, Military Student Services, VCU Dining, the da Vinci Center, the Office of Alumni Relations, VCU Technology Services, TRiO Student Support Services, University Counseling Services, the School of the Arts, VCU Athletics, adult and nontraditional student services, the Dean of Students Office, the Student Government Association and more. 

A glance at a few highlights during Weeks of Welcome (note: any changes due to health concerns can be found on RamsConnect):

Library Fest

Aug. 21 to Sept. 18

Previously an in-person open house, VCU Libraries has gone digital, offering a series of brief, informal videos for incoming and current students that introduce many library departments and services. 

New Student ConvocationRam Spirit WalkCommons in the Park

Aug. 23, 4 p.m., Monroe Park 

A major VCU tradition, New Student Convocation will take place in Monroe Park this year followed by the Ram Spirit Walk, a parade around the park ending in the middle of campus, with a stop along the way at the University Student Commons. Here, many students will visit the ram horns sculpture — created by VCU alum Timothy Blum — and make a wish, a tradition started by alum Kelli Lemon to help VCU’s newest students build a sense of community.

“We really hope that our students will take part in the tradition of making a wish by the ram horns. That's something that they normally do during our orientation, but for the last few years, orientation has been virtual,” said Meghan Zapiec, assistant director for student programming and campus engagement at the University Student Commons and Activities.

After the parade, students can hang out and taste fare from local food trucks at Commons in the Park.

Student Organization Fair

Aug. 27, 3 p.m., Monroe Park

Get connected to hundreds of student organizations from chess to performing groups, honor societies to club sports. Or learn how to start your own group. Can’t make the in-person event? Find Your Fit Week, a virtual fair Aug. 23-26, helps students get connected to activities and organizations they are interested in.

Recurring events Aug. 23 to Sept. 18

  • Monday Grab & Go programs: Pre-packaged event kits — like a movie night kit with snacks or a paint night event over Zoom with materials provided — are available for pickup from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Commons.
  • Wednesdays on the Plaza outside the University Student Commons, noon to 2 p.m.: Students can relax with RecWell with games and wellness experiences, pot plants or watch a performance, in a series of events meant to be low key and stress reducing.
  • Saturday large-scale fun events: Aug. 28, Ramboree (think Jamboree) on Cary Street Field; Sept. 4, Splash Zone on Cary Street Field; Sept. 11, Silent Sunset Disco in Monroe Park; Sept. 18, Casino Night at the Stuart C. Siegal Center.