The annual tradition officially introduces the Class of 2022 to Sun Devil spirit and culture — and Sparky
Thousands of freshmen in Arizona State University’s Class of 2022 gathered as one for the first time Tuesday and were urged to get involved and take responsibility for their futures.
Clad in gold T-shirts for the traditional Sun Devil Welcome rally, the screaming crowd came from the Polytechnic, Downtown Phoenix and West campuses to Tempe to watch the Hip Hop Coalition dancers, see a video on the tradition of whitewashing the “A” on “A” Mountain and welcome Sparky in a dramatic entrance to the darkened Wells Fargo Arena.
Alexander Haw, a political science major and the Undergraduate Student Government president for the West campus, exhorted the students to get involved in some of the more than 1,100 clubs and groups at ASU.
“Look up,” he said, pointing to the basketball jerseys hanging from the rafters.
“Each one of those students left a legacy and their mark on campus. Your legacy will be different, but you have a chance to shine," said Haw. “I challenge you to go to events, to be a part of clubs and to take classes that spark your interest. Be the you you’ve always wanted to be.”
Students from each college waved props including glow sticks, light-up devil ears and giant foam hands.
Lyndsey Smith, a business major, enjoyed representing the W. P. Carey School of Business with banners, but envied some other schools' swag: “Our props need more height.”
President Michael M. Crow told the students that from this point, they are taking responsibility for their own futures.
Several thousand freshmen attend the Fall 2018 Sun Devil Welcome at Wells Fargo Arena on Tuesday.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
Students from the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College cheer with their foam pitchfork hands at the Sun Devil Welcome.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
Members of sororities and fraternities show off their "strolling" moves at the Sun Devil Welcome.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
ASU President Michael M. Crow spoke to the Class of 2022 about taking responsibility for their lives now and making the most of them.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
Freshmen from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences cheer during the college roll call at the Sun Devil Welcome.Photo by Marcus Chormicle/ASU Now
The Sun Devil Marching Band was on hand at the Sun Devil Welcome to help teach the ASU fight song to the incoming freshmen.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
Supply chain managment freshman Cory English and other W. P. Carey students cheer, representing the business school with banners.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
At the freshman rally, new students learn the proper way to flash a pitchfork.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
After the spirit squad taught the new class how to properly execute a pitchfork, they were introduced to Sparky.Photo by Marcus Chormicle/ASU Now
Sun Devil Welcome is one of a weeklong series of events heralding the arrival of incoming students and inviting them to become part of campus life.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
Maroon and gold balloons dropped from the ceiling at Wells Fargo Arena to signal the end of the welcome.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
He showed a photo of himself as a freshman in 1973. When he arrived on campus at Iowa State University, he realized that the dorms didn’t open for several more days.
“I didn’t know what to do. I had 20 bucks in my pocket,” he said.
“I improvised. I found some people and convinced them to give me a job building cots in the dorm for which they would let me sleep there.”
Crow told the freshmen that their life outcomes are now in their hands.
“You’re going to be making decisions. You’re going to be improvising,” he said.
“The decisions you make in your first year will determine whether you can get to where you want to be. It’s not something you decide later.”
The Sun Devil Marching Band, spirit squad and Sparky led the crowd in singing the fight song to end the rally.
The burst of school spirit was electrifying.
“I thought it was really fun. It made me excited for the football games,” said Alonzo Mclemore, a medical studies major.
Leah Smith, an exercise wellness major from New York, appreciated the burst of ASU pride.
“I was very excited for all the sports events and getting to know people,” she said. “I come from out of state, and it’s a lot different back home.”
Video by Deanna Dent/ASU Now