East Texas Baptist University’s Welcome Week invited incoming new students to experience life on the Hill through a five-day event, consisting of large group sessions focused on social, academic, and spiritual development as well as activities such as small group sessions, service projects, an ETBU Amazing Race, and Chill on the Hill.

“Welcome Week is a time for new students to become acclimated to the ETBU campus and the expectations we have for them both in and out of the classroom,” ETBU Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Heather Hadlock said. “The week provides opportunities for all ETBU Tigers to build relationships with fellow students, faculty, and staff.”

Welcome Week was designed to provide students with an in-depth introduction to campus life. Current ETBU upperclassmen led small groups during Welcome Week. These students were chosen based on their Christian character, campus life engagement, academic performance, and leadership potential.

“Applying to be a Welcome Week Leader is something that I didn’t think twice about,” ETBU senior Brandon Leblanc confessed. “I want the incoming students to have a personal connection with our Tiger Family. It was my job to introduce them to their fellow classmates, to learn about the University’s resources, and to have fun with them. As a Resident Assistant in Centennial Hall, I have the blessing to mentor and lead the freshman class. With Welcome Week, I am able to encourage them the second they step on campus.”

ETBU Director of Student Activities Madison Kauffman said the University’s faculty and staff contribute to Welcome Week by helping our new students move into their residence halls.

She continued, “As an alumna, I appreciate looking back on my own experience. It was a blessing for my family to be able to drive up to my residence hall and before we knew it, all of my stuff had been unloaded and carried to my room. Move-In is a University tradition that has turned into a well-oiled machine. It’s always fun to see the University Family come together to bless others.”

Welcome Week is an opportunity to communicate to students ETBU’s commitment to teaching and modeling servant leadership. During the week, over 200 students partnered with various ministries, organizations, and schools in Marshall and the surrounding area, including the Boys & Girls Club Marshall, From Bondage to Freedom House, My Friend’s House, Dayspring Therapeutic Equestrian Ranch, Marshall Manor Nursing Home, Marshall Manor West Nursing Home, Oakwood House, Reunion Inn Assisted Living, Heritage House, Boys & Girls Club Hallsville, Harleton ISD, Hallsville ISD, Living Alternatives Pregnancy Center, Nesbitt Volunteer Fire Department, and the Marshall Animal Shelter.

“I am proud of our ETBU students, who are able to serve in the Marshall community their very first week on campus,” ETBU Director of Global Education and the Great Commission Center Lisa Seeley expressed. “Across the board, our community partners praise our students not only for the work they help with, but also for their wonderful attitudes and giving spirits. From their first days on campus, they are shining the light of Jesus in our community.”