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Three students are enjoying a campus kickoff event.

New and favorite events ready for Campus Kickoff week

By Blake Sebring

August 16, 2023

As Purdue University Fort Wayne nears the start of its fall semester on Monday, the Student Activities Board is filling the calendar with continuing favorites and a few surprises. They start Sunday with S’mores from 7-9 p.m. at Student Housing on the Waterfield Campus, an event that includes a movie, lawn games, and fire pits to allow students to reconnect and meet new friends.

The following day, the annual Campus Kickoff launches with lunch on the Science Mall from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. featuring pulled-pork and chicken sandwiches, T-shirts with new colors for 2023, lawn games, and maybe even a dunk tank. Last year, over 1,000 students attended. All the action is free.

The first new welcome back event comes Tuesday with “Capture the Flag” games on the intramural fields next to the softball diamond from 7 to 9 p.m.

That leads into Wednesday’s Well-being and Rec Fest from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Science Mall with lawn games and more giveaways.

SAB is also considering adding additional early-semester activities including a movie night on the lawn or in a parking lot for a drive-in feel.

The first week finishes with another new event, Food Truck Friday, under the skybridge connecting Helmke Library and Walb Student Union from noon to 3 p.m. There will be a rotation of options every other Friday. The first 50 students for this initial session will receive free meals.  

After a relaxing weekend, SAB is back on Aug. 28 with another new event, Mastodon Music Monday, a monthly acoustic feature at the Mastodon Statue in Alumni Plaza from noon to 2 p.m. It starts with local recording artist Jonah Baker. In case of inclement weather, the concert will move inside the Walb Student Union atrium.

Aug. 29 sees a return of traditional favorite Don’s College Picnic on the Science Mall from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with multiple academic units including PFW’s four colleges and two schools represented. This event features the always-popular zip line.

The next day brings back the second-annual Foam Party at Student Housing, which was a huge success last year. It will also include lawn games, and a photo shoot. Giveaways include beach towels and little beach balls.

Kickoff festivities end on Aug. 31 with the annual Campus Connections Fair, which is where student organizations introduce themselves. Last year, more than 70 campus groups were represented, and the event is expanding to include several dozen Fort Wayne organizations, combining campus with community engagement.