LBCC Welcomes New and Returning Roadrunners To Campus
A rainy start did not dampen spirits at Linn-Benton Community College. The sun eventually shone on its Welcome Day celebration, held on Wednesday. Music echoed throughout the courtyard, and Rocky the Roadrunner posed for selfies–all accompanied by the hustle and bustle of new and returning students, faculty, and staff. Students could be seen exploring the campus with friends and families, visiting the various informational tables, and excitedly reconnecting with each other after a year of remote learning.
In compliance with state mandates all students, staff, and faculty were masked for the event, but it didn’t stop anyone from having a good time.
“Welcome Day was fantastic!” said Gabe Ryley, an electrical engineering student in LBCC’s degree partnership program. “It was great to be able to go in person and meet my instructors and get a general feel for the school where I’ve been a student since last year but I’ve never been to campus.”
Dozens of tables lined the courtyard, staffed by teams from student clubs and organizations, academic departments, college services, community partners, and more. To help students familiarize themselves with the campus and the myriad of support services, there was a scavenger hunt and map published in The Commuter, LBCC’s student newspaper. Students who visited at least 20 locations, including four mandatory ones, were entered into a drawing for free tuition credits.
Ryley was one of the winners, along with Reegan Dejong and Cesar Garcia.
“It was a really hard year,” said Ryley with excitement. “But then I got the LBCC Rebound Scholarship to come back to school and now this additional three credits worth of free tuition and fees … it will make a world of difference!”
In addition to the in-person festivities, LBCC created a virtual site for those who might not be able to attend in person. That site, at welcome.linnbenton.edu, includes a special letter of welcome from LBCC President Lisa Avery, a congratulatory video from Albany Mayor Alex Johnson II, and a welcome video from LBCC’s student body president Hannah Briggs, of Corvallis.
“We had more students show up than we originally thought, which not only assures us students are ready for the school year, but they're ready to socialize again. It was super fun interacting with everyone and I can't wait for the rest of the year!” said Briggs.
“I think I visited with more than 150 students at the LBCC Foundation table,” said Linnea Everts, LBCC Foundation Coordinator. The Foundation opened its fall 2021 scholarship cycle today, and nearly $500,000 is available for students.
“They were very enthusiastic!” said Everts. “The difference I see this year is that many of them are looking for additional funding for expenses beyond tuition. Scholarships seem to resonate more strongly with them now. Since COVID-19, they realize they need a much larger financial cushion.”
College officials estimate that 500 students attended Welcome Day on campus. Students return Monday for a fall term of in-person, online, and hybrid classes.