NU Welcoming Students with Convocation, Concert, Comedians, TED-style Talks, More

August 27, 2014  |  by Michael Freedman

  • Walk to Whirlpool

    The freshman class Walk to Whirlpool State Park is a staple of NU's New Student Orientation.

  • Convocation

    Recitation of the NU Creed is one of the major components of the New Student Convocation.

  • SPIN

    New this year, 'SPIN sessions' are faculty-led, thought-provoking presentations. Dr. Mark Gallo, pictured, will speak about the evolution of viruses.

  • Wayans Brothers

    The Wayans Brothers will deliver a comedic performance as part of a full schedule of events NU is presenting students as they return to campus.

  • Lorde

    Lorde will perform at Artpark on Sept. 7, an event that's part of Niagara University's FirstFest. (Photo credit: Andrew Whitton)

Niagara University is going to great lengths to ensure that its freshman class of students remembers its first week on campus for a long time.

The institution is rolling out the purple carpet beginning Aug. 29 with a full slate of activities that includes a comedic performance by the Wayans brothers of In Living Color, White Chicks and Scary Movie fame and a concert at Artpark by pop sensation Lorde, in addition to a bonfire, outdoor movie, carnival, foam party, fireworks celebration, New Student Convocation, TED-style professor presentations (which range in topic from the Zombie Apocalypse to identity theft), and the annual Walk to Whirlpool State Park.

Indeed, students will also have plentiful opportunities to obtain academic advisement and learn more about various university clubs, traditions, policies and procedures.

New Student Orientation is one way we introduce freshmen to what it means to be Niagarans, and we’re very excited to welcome the Class of 2018 to campus with a schedule of events that promises to be enlightening, entertaining and, most importantly, engaging,” said Kevin Hearn, Ph.D., vice president for enrollment management and student affairs. “Through many well-rounded activities, students will develop a deeper understanding of Niagara’s core values and officially become members of the Niagara University community.”

New students will recite the NU Creed during the university’s 12th annual New Student Convocation, which takes place at 2:30 p.m. in the Gallagher Center gym. The event is the university’s ceremonial welcome to the newest members of its community. Also featured during the program are brief remarks from a notable Niagara graduate, the university’s Excellence in Teaching Award recipient and the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., president of Niagara University.

A takeoff on TED talks, the SPIN sessions – as in Students, Professors and Ideas at Niagara – are a new endeavor meant to illustrate the variety and depth of knowledge of the university’s faculty members. Students will be able to choose to attend two of the 30-minute presentations on Saturday afternoon, conceived to elicit the student-faculty exchange of ideas that the Niagara University experience is predicated on.

(Nearly half, 46 percent, of NU’s undergraduate students participate in research with a professor, a rate of involvement that is almost double what is reported by students at nearly 600 colleges and universities throughout the United States.)

The Walk to Whirlpool, a Niagara tradition, brings the freshman class together to travel as one from Monteagle Ridge to the state park, while being welcomed along the way by staff members and students. When students arrive at the park, they enjoy a barbecue picnic, games, music and unrivaled views of the Niagara Gorge.

New Student Orientation continues through Labor Day weekend. Upperclassmen return to campus Sept. 1, with classes commencing Sept. 2.

For more information on New Student Orientation, please visit

To register for the fall 2014 semester, contact Niagara University’s Admissions Office at 716.286.8700 or ude.aragainnull@snoissimda.