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COLUMBIA- Columbia College will begin the new academic year with a series of more than 30 “explorientation” events on Thursday, starting with its traditional pinning ceremony.

Columbia College puts on these events to welcome new students to its campus. The school hopes these actions get students and families accustomed to campus life. The events begin Thursday and run through the school’s homecoming festivities on October 7th.

The traditional new pinning ceremony is scheduled for 1:15 p.m. at Southwell Complex. Students will be recognized individually by having their names read aloud and receive their new student pins in front of family, friends, faculty and staff.

Dave Roberts, dean of student affairs at Columbia College, said this is a great event for all incoming students.

“It’s exciting, I've been working in higher ed for a number of years and I like seeing the students come in and be greeted,” Roberts said. “It’s a bit overwhelming for them but exciting for the faculty because we know what is in store for them.”

This is a tradition that has been in place for since the early 2000's.

The ceremony will be followed by “Let's Get It Started,” a series of activities for incoming students. Roberts said this part of the day is great to help the students get to know each other and faculty as well.

Roberts said Columbia College will not know the exact number of new students until after the first week of class, but the school is very encouraged that the number will be up from last year.

He added events like this is what makes Columbia College great.

“Columbia College is a great place,” Roberts said. “It’s sometimes tough because this is a town where Mizzou has their names on logos and in the stores, but we are the best kept secret in Columbia.”

“We have a beautiful campus, we have a vibrant student life on campus, we have a great group of students we bring in every year and a very committed group of faculty and staff,” Roberts said.

Columbia College will officially begin school on August 28th. Other events to round off "explorientation" include Storming the Gate, when students run across the quad and become offical Columbia Cougars; the Welcome Back Bash, where students can enjoy fun festivities put together by the school, and campus safety night.

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