Last night, President Phipps hosted a student picnic to welcome first-year students to Messiah College. The event was a new addition to the first-year activities that were held before the fall semester.
President Phipps said she and her husband are intent on welcoming students to campus and inviting them to Orchard Hill at least twice during a student’s time at Messiah.
“I kept thinking about the fact that I don’t get to meet first-year students as early on as I would like, so we decided to add the first-year picnic to welcome them to the College, our home, and give them another evening right before classes start to enjoy getting to know each other,” President Phipps said.
Throughout the evening, the lawn was filled with students chatting while others played games in the house – even singing around the piano.
Joey Yu, an international first-year student from Hong Kong, loved the atmosphere of the picnic.
“The President gives us freedom in her house and gives us time to socialize. We had a lot of fun,” Yu shared.
This relaxed event was added after last year’s Welcome Week as a way for President Phipps to connect with more students. Kevin Villegas, the Director of the Student Involvement and Leadership program, was one person who held a debrief with President Phipps to plan the picnic.
“President Phipps is so hospitable, she loves to open up her house and have people come in,” Villegas said.
The first-year student picnic is also speculated to be a bookend event for the senior picnic held at Orchard Hill. Both events are meant as a time for students to spend relaxing and engaging with each other and President Phipps.
“I love to talk to students. I always feel encouraged when I’m around Messiah students, and I think it’ll be a great year,” President Phipps said.
I believe in the power of storytelling, getting lost in someone else’s culture to understand who they are and exploring the world to realize who you are.