A week full of 'Firsts' for UT's incoming freshmen

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Move In day is almost here!

At 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, more than 7,000 students will begin moving into the University of Tennessee's 11 residence halls as they prepare for a week packed with 'firsts.'

UT staff and volunteers will be on hand to help students unload cars and answer questions. And throughout that first week Welcome Leaders, a team of 175 upperclass student leaders, will welcome and guide the Class of 2017 through their first days.

The university points out there will also be plenty of events which will give those students a taste of campus life. Some of the highlights include:

A Freshman Picnic, which is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on Sunday. Then at 7:30 p.m. students will walk together to Ayres Hall lawn for Torch Night, an 88-year-old tradition where upperclassmen symbolically pass down the Torch of Preparation to the new freshmen.

The class of 2017 will be the first students in decades to participate in this university tradition on Ayres Hall lawn on the Hill. It has been held at Thompson Boling Arena in recent years.

Following the ceremony, freshmen head to Neyland Stadium, to practice Volunteer cheers, sing Rocky Top accompanied by the Pride of the Southland Marching Band and also hear from coaches and student athletes.

Then on Monday, Bill McKibbon, author of "Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet," will discuss his book with freshmen at 5:30 p.m. in Thompson-Boling Arena. All incoming students were asked to read the book over the summer.

On Tuesday, they can try all of the recreational activities offered on campus during RecFest, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Activities includeincluding intramural and club sports, aquatics, group fitness sessions, personal training, outdoor programs and the climbing wall.

Later in the evening, they're invited to "get global" at the Beyond the Borders dance party at the International House.

At VOLFest on Wednesday, students will find food, games, giveaways and booths with information about UT Police, RecSports, athletics, the Office of Sustainability and more. The event takes place from 5 to 7 p.m. in Presidential Courtyard. Then, starting at 8:30 p.m., students can watch an outdoor movie from Regal Entertainment Group at Lindsey Nelson Baseball Stadium. "The Avengers" was chosen as the movie by the Class of 2017 during the summer.

Sophomores will get in on the action on Thursday during the first SophoMORE Fest. There they will learn about internships, practicum experiences, graduate school preparation, national scholarships, undergraduate research, student leadership and other opportunities. The event runs from noon to 2 p.m. in the University Center Crest Room.

Finally, on Friday, students will learn how they can get more involved. More than 200 student organizations will set up information booths on the Pedestrian Walkway. The event runs from 7 to 11 p.m.

Students are also invited to attend a Super Art Fight in the nearby Humanities Amphitheatre at 7 p.m. and then stay for Vol Night Long, a party with music, inflatables and food that runs from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.

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