Skip to main content

Welcome Weekend

Friday, August 25 – Monday, August 28, 2023

Fall 2023 Welcome Weekend for new students is the time you have been waiting for all summer! Friday, August 25 is Move-in Day for new residential students and Check-in Day for new commuters. This day will be filled with excitement and fun as you and your family arrive, move in, and get settled at SAU. Friday afternoon, August 25 through Monday, August 28 begins New Student Orientation where you will hear from staff, faculty, and student leaders throughout the weekend, meet new friends, and become an expert of campus resources and program offerings.

We can’t wait for you to join us as an official SAU Cougar!


  • We believe welcome weekend is a highly valuable time that directly correlates to your future success here at SAU. If there is a conflict with participating in any part of Welcome Weekend, we ask that you communicate that conflict directly with your Admissions rep before your arrival or with Chelsae Burk, Director of Student Engagement, at We invite your family to join you in the festivities of Move-in Day. No event registration is required to participate.
  • When you arrive, you will be guided to park in the General Student Parking Lot and will check-in at the Poling Center located on Ogle Ave.
  • **Move-in Day for returning SAU students is after 2:00pm on Saturday, August 26**
  • Each new student and their family will receive a complimentary meal ticket to join us for lunch on Friday in our Dining Commons.
  • We will have our traditional ribbon cutting ceremony called Parting at the Plaza at 4pm on Friday. This ceremony is for new students and guests to celebrate the beginning of this new college experience and to reflect on the journey of getting to this moment. During this time, we will be dividing into CORE groups (everyone in your CORE 100 class). We will then ask that family and students say their goodbyes and part ways. From that moment on we will only have activities planned for students for the remainder of the weekend.
  • We encourage parents and families to continue staying involved throughout the academic year. If you have questions about resources we provide on campus or would like to discover campus events and other ways your student can get involved, please reach out to us by phone at 517.750.6330 or by email at You can also stay involved by joining our SAU Parents Facebook page to meet other parents, hear about upcoming events, and post questions.

Move In Dates & Times

Early Arrival Move in Dates
If you believe that you are expected to arrival early, all early arrivals require pre-approval through the Housing office, coordinated by your coach or direct supervisor. If you are unsure about whether you are expected to arrive early, please contact your coach or supervisor.

New Students
When you arrive at the welcome area (Poling Center lobby) you will receive your welcome packet and room key if residing on campus.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 25th 10:00-11:00am | GROUP #1 Check-in

 This group includes the following areas for all odd-numbered rooms:

  • Andrew’s Hall
  • Gainey Hall
  • Lowell Hall – Alpha, Delta, Gamma wings

FRIDAY, AUGUST 25th 11:00am-12:00pm | GROUP #2 Check-in

This group includes the following areas for all even-numbered rooms:

  • Andrew’s Hall
  • Gainey Hall
  • Lowell Hall
  • Village Suites (new and transfer students only | returning students can arrive Saturday, August 25 after 2pm)

Welcome Weekend Schedule

Friday, August 25

LocationTimeEvent Details & Location
Poling Center10:00am-12:00pmCheck-in at Your Assigned Time – The Poling Center is located near the general student parking lot
White Library10:00am-3:30pmSacred Grounds Coffee Shop Open
Beebe Plaza10:00am-3:30pmCampus Resource Fair
Dining Commons11:30am-1:30pmComplimentary Family Lunch – Assigned lunch times on check-in packet
Oak Tree12:30pm-3:30pmKick-Off Festivities – Music, games, food and fun (optional)
White Auditorium2:15pm-3:15pmParent Session – Panel with key SAU staff members
Poling Center3:00pm-3:30pmCommuter Check-in at Poling Center
Clocktower Plaza4:00pm-4:30pmParting at the Plaza Ceremony – With your CORE group and your family
Various Locations4:45pm-7:00pmCORE Group Meetings – See your Peer Advisor for more info
Dining Commons4:45pm-7:00pmCelebration Dinner
Various Locations9:15pm-10:00pmAll Call Hall: Welcome Home!

Saturday, August 26

LocationTimeEvent Details
Centennial Plaza9:00am-9:30amDevotions & Continental Breakfast (muffins, fruit, coffee)
Centennial Plaza9:30am-12:00pmOperation Community
Dining Commons12:00pm-1:30pmLunch
Various Locations2:00pm-4:00pmYou Choose: Afternoon Excursion
Various Locations4:00pm-6:00pmAthletic Practices
Dining Commons5:00pm-6:30pmCORE Group Dinner
President’s Lawn6:00pm-7:30pmIce Cream with the President – Join the President and First Lady for ice cream on their front lawn
Soccer Complex7:00pmMen’s Soccer Game

Sunday, August 27

LocationTimeEvent Details
Arbor Church
120 E Main St
10:30am-11:30amArbor Church Service
Dining Commons11:00am-1:00pmBrunch with Your Floor
Residence Halls1:00pm-4:00pmRA Afternoon Takeover
Various Locations4:00pm-5:00pmDevotional and Self-Reflection Time/Free Time
Dining Commons5:00pm-7:00pmDinner with Your Floor
Oak Tree8:00pm-10:00pmArbor Nights

Monday, August 28

LocationTimeEvent Details
Dining Commons7:40am-8:40amBreakfast (optional)
Arbor Church10:05am-11:00am1st Chapel
White Auditorium11:15am-12:00pmMaking the Most of College
Dining Commons11:30am-1:00pmLunch
Various Locations1:00pm-2:00pmMajor Meet-up
Ralph Carey Forum2:30pm-3:30pmInternational Student Orientation
Various Locations4:00pm-6:00pmAthletic Practices
Dining Commons5:00pm-7:00pmCORE Group Dinner
Arbor Church8:00pm-9:00pmResidence Life Mandatory Meeting

Tuesday, August 29

Classes begin!

New Student Retreat: Camp Michindoh

Friday, Sept. 1 – Sunday, Sept. 3

Mark your calendars for the New Student Retreat, a weekend getaway at Camp Michindoh full of team building and adventure!