A fresh start for Acadia’s new academic year

The fall semester marks the start of Dr. Jeff Hennessy’s presidency

A smiling group of RA's are gathered around a welcome area in front of a Residence building on Move-In Day 2022

Acadia University is set to begin the 2023-2024 academic year under the leadership of Dr. Jeff Hennessy, who will serve as the institution's 17th President and Vice-Chancellor. An exceptional array of welcome and orientation events awaits students, designed to foster personal and academic development on the Wolfville campus.

“Our students come from across Canada and around the world to experience Acadia’s excellent programs, stellar faculty, and our immersive and high-engagement educational experience,” says Hennessy, who begins his term as President on September 1. “We look forward to welcoming our new students and welcoming back our returning students. Together, with the Town of Wolfville, we offer our students a unique and wonderful living and learning environment.”

Among Acadia's 3,600 undergraduate and graduate students, nearly 1,400 reside in campus housing facilities. New students will move in on September 2, followed by returning students on September 4. Classes are scheduled to start on September 6.

James Sanford, Executive Director of Student Services at Acadia, explains the significance of welcome and orientation events: “Purposeful activities create a safe and welcoming beginning for the Acadia student experience, supported by an entire community of scholars, leaders, mentors, friends, and neighbours. These initial opportunities ensure students have a strong foundation leading to academic success.

Acadia Students' Union (ASU) President Sadie McAlear is excited to welcome all students to campus, with an emphasis on helping incoming students adjust to university life: "We are thrilled to welcome all students back to campus and support the beginning, or continuation of, their journey at Acadia. We have a lineup of events for students to participate in throughout Orientation Week and look forward to continuing building relationships with the amazing students a part of the Acadia community. We are equally eager to bring students into the ASU’s conversations around how we advocate for the affordability, accessibility, and quality of their education.”

This year, Acadia is offering a mentorship program that pairs student ambassadors with similar academic interests to new students. The orientation agenda includes academic lunches, educational sessions, class photos, a special Welcome Ceremony, and Matriculation – a time-honoured Acadia tradition where first-year students officially join the University.


Highlights from the schedule include:

September 2: New Student Move-In, Matriculation and Football Home Opener

More than 750 new students will arrive at residence starting at 8:30 a.m., with faculty and staff encouraged to help welcome them. The Alumni Association is hosting an open house “Axe-cellent Send Off” from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for families moving their students into residence. The day continues with a formal Matriculation Ceremony at University Hall at 2 p.m. and concludes with an adrenaline-pumping Acadia football game against StFX at 3 p.m. on Raymond Field.

September 3: Orientation Kicks Off; Welcome and Smudging Ceremony

Starting at 11 a.m. on the steps leading to University Hall, Dr. Jeff Hennessy will be joined by Elder-In-Residence Dr. Joe Michael to lead a heartwarming ceremony for all on- and off-campus students followed by a welcome barbecue at noon.

September 4th: Welcome to Wolfville Street Fair; Returning Student Move-In

The 2nd Annual Welcome to Wolfville Street Fair in partnership with the Town of Wolfville and the Acadia Students’ Union (ASU) will take place on Main Street from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., offering games, food, live music, and entertainment for all ages. All community and university members are invited to join in the festivities. Acadia will also welcome back students returning to residence.

September 5: Academic Orientation Day

Program-specific orientation sessions begin at 10 a.m. and will be followed by lunch with faculty and academic support staff in Wheelock Hall. The day also features the much-anticipated return of a note-taking workshop series and additional academic skills development opportunities.

September 6-10: Welcome Week Activities

A plethora of exciting Welcome Week activities awaits students, ensuring ample opportunities for engagement and involvement on campus.

For a complete schedule of events, students are encouraged to visit the Welcome Week Fall Orientation website and download the Acadia University Guidebook app. More information is available from organizers, who can be contacted directly.   

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