New Dragons at Drexel University Get Acquainted with College, Philly During Welcome Week

There were more than 200 events from Sept. 15–25 to help new students get ready for the school year and their time at Drexel overall.
Students color a page with the Office for Institutional Equity at the Resource Fair.

Kristin Vitacco from the Office for Institutional Equity and Inclusive Culture greets students at the Resource Fair with a large coloring page that reads, “Tell us, we’ll listen.” 

For more than a week before classes started at Drexel University for the 2023–24 school year, New Dragons became acquainted with their new colleges and schools, university and city as a whole throughout Welcome Week. It’s a Drexel tradition where students not only take care of chores like getting their DragonCards and registering their bikes with Drexel Public Safety, but also begin to make the connections that will help them through their time at college.

Throughout the week, DrexelNow and others visited a few events where New Dragons were taking flight into their time at Drexel.

Monday, Sept. 18

The Creese Student Center, Behrakis Grand Hall and the Drexel Barnes & Noble were all abuzz with New Dragons and their families getting DragonCards, information about campus, new Drexel merch and more. Students could visit the Resource Fair to get information on Drexel from tables featuring the Drexel Student Health Center, various colleges and schools and offices around campus like the Student Center for Diversity and Inclusion and the Center for Black Culture.

Later in the day, students were welcomed to their new home with a special evening at the Franklin Institute. The Drexel-only night there is a long-held tradition that helps students get acquainted with one of Philadelphia’s iconic institutions and its famous exhibits, like the giant heart.

Students walk along Filbert Street during the Westphal Block Party.

Students walk along Filbert Street during the Westphal Block Party. 

Tuesday, Sept. 19

The next day was all about New Dragons getting to know their college communities. Each school and college, as well as many departments, held informational events in which students could meet their faculty and fellow students through tours, meet-and-greets and, in the case of the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, a block party.

Behind the URBN Center, departments in Westphal and programs around Drexel set up tables to share information with students, who also got to grab free water ice and pretzels and battle each other in inflatable obstacle courses, cornhole and other street games.

Students go down an inflatable slide

Students go down an inflatable slide at Bounceapalooza. Photo courtesy of Brian Manley.

Elsewhere, at Vidas Field, students had gathered to watch Drexel’s fiery teams of Dragons in action, as the men’s soccer team played Temple University, but the game was canceled. Before the game, there was a tailgate and Bounceapalooza planned near the field with more inflatable obstacle courses, free food and T-shirts, which went on as scheduled.

Mario the Magnificent meets Cinnabun the rabbit.

Wednesday, Sept. 20

As Welcome Week rolled along, Drexel students had more opportunities to learn about their new home.

At the Drexel basketball teams’ HoopLa event, students gathered behind the Recreation Center for free food, photo ops with Mario the Magnificent himself and a chance to win a T-shirt during a Drexel trivia contest. Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams came out to mingle with students and play some of the games themselves.

Four students convene to figure out trivia.

Students team up to come up with answers to Drexel trivia. Here, students try to come up with all six teams in the Big Five in Philadelphia. 

Throughout the day, students also attended events geared towards helping them find community at Drexel, like an ice cream social for international students, a block party at Bentley Hall for residents and Pennoni Honors College students and a Latinx scavenger hunt with Latinos for a United Campus. There were also sampler events for some dance classes like ballet, so students could see what they might want to try.

Three students pose for a photo in front of a Drexel background

Camryn Armstrong, Amayia Lowe and Amaya Jenkins take a photo with Drexel props. 

Thursday, Sept. 21

Students really had became acquainted with campus on the next day of Welcome Week as events took them around the University City Campus. There were yoga sessions behind the Rec Center, a tour of the campus’s green spaces and meet-and-greets with various student organizations.

The big story of the day was a birthday party for none other than the University’s founder himself, Anthony J. Drexel. His 197th birthday, to be exact. In Main Building, students got to partake in birthday cupcakes and a scavenger hunt where they earned points for visiting tables from Alumni Relations, the Drexel Fund, the Academy of Natural Sciences and more, as well as for answering trivia questions. Students also got to take photos in front of a Drexel backdrop with props and take printed photo strips with them.

Drexel's Mario the Magnificent statue is shown on the video board at Citizens Bank Park.
A Drexel video showed on the Phillies' video screen during the game to celebrate Drexel night. 

Friday, Sept. 22

What’s better than a Phillies game on Friday night in Philadelphia? After events on campus including a plant giveaway at the Gateway Garden, the opening day of the Electrified: 50 Years of Electric Factory exhibit and academic advising, students had a chance to score free tickets for the Phillies game against the New York Mets that evening.

Later, students showed up in groups to cheer on the home team in Phillies and Drexel gear, and were even treated to a Phillies win in the 10th inning.