The University of New Hampshire kicked off the academic year with its annual University Day (U-Day) celebration this past Wednesday, Sept.7. Students gathered outside Thompson Hall and along Main Street on campus to visit over 250 student organizations and local vendors.
The U-Day celebration is a long-established tradition that allows for the Durham community to come together. Displays by the marching band, gymnastics team and aerial dance team livened up the event with their remarkable performances, and thousands of students and local community members enjoyed the event and each other’s company.
“I think it’s nice to see the UNH community come together,” said third year student Skye Flegg, who was looking forward to the event and getting to know some of the organizations.
This year’s U-Day celebration welcomed beautiful fall weather, music and a community barbecue style picnic thanks to the university and UNH dining.
Melissa Beecher, the director of the Memorial Union Building and student activities worked hard alongside Cat Lamb, coordinator of student success, to organize the event. Together they designed a layout based on prior university events with some minor changes to help students better navigate the hundreds of organizations represented.
“We had more tables on Scott Hall Lawn to ensure that we were spread out to make the event less overwhelming,” said Beecher. “We utilized color-coding and lettering to help people find the tables they were looking for.”
Clubs like Craft Crazy used the occasion to talk to students about the therapeutic qualities of art and the importance of having a safe space to unwind. Other organizations, such as Alpha Chi Sigma, the co-ed chemistry fraternity, welcomed new members in addition to promoting their tutoring lessons.
“U-Day is a great day to get to know freshmen and make some new friends,” said first year student Colby Shawver, member of Alpha Chi Sigma. “It really helps people connect.”
In case you missed the event, all student clubs and organizations can be found via Wildcat Link.