First-year students learn about traditions and what university has to offer at high-decibel Sun Devil Welcome at Wells Fargo Arena
Members of Arizona State University's 11,500-strong freshman class gathered together for the first time Tuesday for the traditional Sun Devil Welcome rally.
Busloads of freshmen poured in from the Polytechnic, Downtown Phoenix and West campuses to Wells Fargo Arena on the Tempe campus, with everyone clad in gold T-shirts to learn how to properly flash a pitchfork and sing the fight song.
The screaming crowd watched hula dancers from the Hawai’i and Pacific Islander Club and performers from the ASU Hip Hop Coalition, saw a video on the tradition of whitewashing the “A” on A Mountain and watched Sparky make a dramatic entrance in the darkened arena.
Video by Laura Sposato/ASU
Brittany Benedict, the Undergraduate Student Government president for the Tempe campus, exhorted the students to get involved in the more than 1,100 clubs and groups at ASU.
“If you have ideas or suggestions, you have the power to have your voice heard,” she said.
“The opportunities at ASU are endless. No dream is too big and no goal is unattainable. Step outside your comfort zone. Start a new organization. Study abroad.”
President Michael Crow told the students they might face struggles this year, missing their families, doubting their abilities and thinking that ASU is not the place for them.
“We are here to help you through all that. Everyone that’s sitting in this room is qualified to attend a research university, and we have already predicted that you have the capability to graduate from this university,” he said.
“Everything that we are, everything that we do, all of our faculty and staff, the counselors, health services, athletic department, everything, is here for you.”
He asked them to embrace the challenges they’ll inevitably face.
“Move out of your comfort zone. Don’t try to get all A’s by taking courses you know you can get an A in. Don’t not work with someone you’re not comfortable working with. Engage and confront challenging ideas,” he said.
“Do not just walk by something you don’t agree with. Do not just walk by something that can be enhanced by you.”
Cronkite School journalism freshmen cheer before the start of the Sun Devil Welcome on Tuesday afternoon at Wells Fargo Arena on the Tempe campus.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
Biochemistry freshman Jordyn Cooper and her College of Liberal Arts and Sciences classmates cheer for their college.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
Psychology freshman Noella MIkanda (third from left) laughs during the freshman rally.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
Members of the Hawai'i and Pacific Islanders Club perform for incoming freshmen Tuesday.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
Members of KODE (K-Pop Dance Revolution) perform at Wells Fargo Arena.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
ASU President Michael Crow shares a laugh with nursing freshman Nikkalaus Cheever before taking the stage at Sun Devil Welcome.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
Students from the College of Nursing and Health Innovation cheer for their college during roll call.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
It's business as usual as students from the W. P. Carey School of Business show their spirit.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts students show some flair during Sun Devil Welcome.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
President Michael Crow takes a selfie from the stage during Sun Devil Welcome. Want to see how it turned out? Click here.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
President Crow tells the gathered freshmen that the university is there to support them and help them grow. “Everything that we are, everything that we do, all of our faculty and staff, the counselors, health services, athletic department, everything, is here for you.”Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
The ASU marching band plays for incoming freshmen as the crowd flashes the pitchfork.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
Sparky and the cheerleading squad take the stage.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
ASU Vice President for University Athletics Ray Anderson greets the incoming freshman during the Sun Devil Welcome.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now
After the rally, the energized freshmen poured out of the arena, ready to begin college.
“I really liked it,” said Nikki Taylor, a psychology major. “I liked hearing about all of the groups and seeing what everyone was doing. I’m interested in the ukulele club.”
Top photo: Biology freshman Lauren Dillon (center) cheers for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences during roll call at Sun Devil Welcome on Tuesday afternoon at Wells Fargo Arena on Tempe campus. Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now