Move-in 2016: New students welcomed with tradition

Friends at the welcome picnic

Jessica Zamba, Chelsea Jones, and Grace Feist at the 2016 Ram Welcome picnic

The class of 2020 has been officially welcomed into the Ram Family.

After spending the day moving in, unpacking and settling in at their residence halls, new students were treated to a night of Ram tradition on Thursday.

The CSU Alumni Association hosted its annual Ram Welcome Picnic, greeting and feeding thousands of student and their families. This new group of Rams, charged up on school spirit and wearing identical “For-Ever-Green” T-shirts, spilled out of Convocation in Moby Arena and onto the Intramural Fields for the picnic.

CSU videographer Brian Buss captured the energy and excitement of the night.

The annual picnic was particularly meaningful to Alumni Association staff and volunteers who were eager to welcome students and their families into the Ram Family. The excitement a new school year brings and the pride that comes from passing Ram traditions on to the next generation of alumni makes it a “would not miss” annual event for many former graduates.

“It’s a great way to give back to the University,” alumnus Bill Woods (B.S. ‘58) explains, “and at the same time it’s rewarding to see what’s going on here on campus and see the quality of the incoming class of young men and women.” Woods, a retired United States Army colonel, is a life member of the Alumni Association. He and his wife Jan met at Colorado State University as students and are dedicated to their alma mater and the new generation of Rams.

Woods, along with other Alumni Association volunteers, enjoy meeting each new group of students and understand that Ram Welcome can be an emotional time as families watch one of their own step into the next stage of their lives. It’s especially emotional for the students. “CSU felt like home when I visited,” said Kylie Morse Norfolk, a freshman from Nebraska. “At convocation, with everyone around you and everyone participating together, it feels like we’re a family.” Grace Feist said she felt the same way. “CSU is a really supportive community that makes me feel like I’ve found my home away from home.”

The CSU Alumni Association takes pride in helping create that welcoming atmosphere. “It is so important for our students, especially each new class of Rams, to know that their Alumni Association is here for them,” said Kristi Bohlender (B.S. ’93, M.B.A. ’95), executive director of CSU’s Alumni Association. “For us, these moments are about celebrating pride, tradition, diversity, and relationships. Our commitment to them starts when they become students and continues long after they graduate and continue their journey.”