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Welcome New Polar Bears

As you enjoy the last few fleeting days of summer, you are undoubtedly preparing for fall and all that comes with it. Fall means going back to school. And as you prepare to become part of the ONU campus community, I want to take this opportunity to offer a few thoughts on the journey you are about to take.           

The college years are filled with friends, fun and excitement, but they can also include moments of indecision, disappointment and lots of hard work. A solid support system is one of the keys to your future success. Parents and family can be the foundation of that support system. Staying connected with your family, yet allowing yourself enough space and independence to make sound decisions and to work through challenges is the optimal goal. Staying in contact is a good idea. Whether you connect by text, Twitter, Facebook or even an actual telephone conversation, the important thing is to find a good balance.

In addition to your parents and family back home, you are now entering the ONU family. We can and will serve as part of your support system. You may have already met students, faculty and staff who will be here to support you. You will meet many more throughout your time on campus. Faculty, staff and your fellow students will be here to celebrate your accomplishments and joys with you and encourage you when you are disheartened. And while it can be tempting to involve parents if you have a roommate conflict, disagree with a campus policy or question a grade you receive, it is infinitely more productive if you, the student, have those conversations instead. Those will be the perfect opportunities for you to build or enhance communication and problem-solving skills that will serve you well throughout your college years and professional career.

We are hard at work preparing for your arrival and look forward to the excitement and energy you will bring to campus. From the opening convocation and welcome to campus, to working in the community on ACE Day, to discussions about The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, to inviting your family back to campus for Family Day (Saturday, Sept. 20), it is going to be a wonderful fall. Please know that the Student Affairs staff is committed to helping you be successful and to helping you take full advantage of one of the most memorable times of your life. We can hardly wait to get started. Let the adventure begin!

Adriane Thompson-Bradshaw, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs