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Campus and Community

Week of Welcome Returns to Campus

Two students in yellow Week of Welcome T-shirts smiling and holding up a sign reading Group 162 on a grassy field
Written By Larry Peña, Photos by Joe Johnston

For the first time since 2019, Cal Poly hosted a live, in-person Week of Welcome — better known as WOW. The award-winning orientation experience, a campus tradition for more than 60 years, brings new Mustangs together with more experienced student mentors who introduce them to campus life and critical resources for a successful college career.

In 2020, WOW was held virtually — along with most courses during the academic year — to help reduce the risk of COVID infection on campus. While precautions were still in place this year, including vaccine requirements for students coming to campus and mask mandates for all indoor gatherings, the tone on campus during the week was one of overwhelming joy.

“I’m just so excited to be here and to be doing this,” said Abbie Bain, a WOW leader and second-year business major who is starting her own first full year on campus. “Even though we didn’t get to spend much time on campus last year, we still have so much knowledge to share with the new students.”

Take a look at photos from some of this year’s big WOW moments.

Photo above: The student leaders of WOW group 192 eagerly await their WOWies on the first day of Week of Welcome.

A large group of students sits in a circle on a field as their WOW leaders stand and address them
Groups of first-year students gathered to meet their WOW leaders and get to know each other on the first day of the orientation program.
Two student leaders run across the field at Spanos Stadium holding a sign reading Hands Up
At the Big Fall Welcome on the first night of WOW, new students gathered in Spanos Stadium to get hyped up about campus life.
President Armstrong stands in the middle of the field at Spanos Stadium addressing first-year students as a torn sheet of paper falls to the ground on either side of him
President Armstrong urged new Cal Poly students to "tear up your cool card" and dive in to all the campus community has to offer at the Big Fall Welcome.
Students in Cal Poly sweatshirts roast marshmallows over a bonfire on the beach
Over the weekend, many WOW groups met at Pismo State Beach for games and sunset bonfires on the sand.
Groups of students walk around rows of booths and tents set up on the Engineering Plaza lawn
At the Club Showcase, student organizations from cultural and social clubs to academic and pre-professional societies to fraternities and sororities gathered to invite new students to find a sense of community on their new campus.


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