Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

WT Classes Begin, Students Welcomed Back with Start Strong Activities


CANYON, Texas — Students return today to West Texas A&M University and will be greeted with several weeks’ worth of activities designed to get them fully engaged in campus life.

Classes begin Aug. 21, and WT’s Start Strong initiative, now in its third year, offers both new and returning students multiple ways to make new friends and develop a sense of belonging at WT, said Chris Thomas, vice president for student affairs.

“Students tell us they want strong social connections with their collegiate peers,” Thomas said, “and we are working hard to create those opportunities from the onset of the academic year.  Those relationships are the glue that helps to bind students to each other and to WT.”

The schedule, which can be found at, includes activities for both new and returning students.

Start Strong Week 1 will run Aug. 21 to 27. Campus greeters will be located in various locations across campus on Aug. 21 and 22, the first two days of classes. Other activities will include the Join the Herd 2.0 organization fair, several free lunches and more.

The First Friday Festival, which will run 7:15 a.m. to 1 a.m. Aug. 25, will feature food trucks, a pool party, cornhole, a dance and the Maroon Meet-Up at Midnight at Bain-Schaeffer Buffalo Stadium.

Start Strong Week 2 will run Aug. 28 to Sept. 3. Activities will include a Welcome Back BBQ in the Dining Hall, a block party with the Sybil B. Harrington College of Fine Arts and Humanities, an Ag Extravaganza, athletics events and more.

Start Strong Week 3 will run Sept. 4 to 9 and will include Student Government Association elections, live music, camping in Palo Duro Canyon State Park, athletics events and more, culminating in WT Football’s season-opening game against Adams State University at 7 p.m. Sept. 9 in Bain-Schaeffer Buffalo Stadium.

Engaging and retaining the best students is a key component of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the five-year campaign — which publicly launched Sept. 23 — has raised about $110 million.

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