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WSSU welcomes the class of 2021

Students walk through WSSU's historic arches as part of the Through the Archways ceremony, symbolizing their transition "from lambs to Rams." (WSSU file 2016)

Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) will welcome the Class of 2021 this weekend.

With more than 950 students expected, WSSU’s freshman class is again the largest since 2008. Freshmen enrollment has increased 27 percent since 2012.

Following move-in on Saturday, Aug. 12, Ramdition – a weeklong new student orientation – gets under way with a welcome session on Sunday, Aug. 13.

“Ramdition is unique to Winston-Salem State,” said Dr. Kathy Stitts, associate provost and dean of the University College and Lifelong Learning (UCaLL) and interim dean of the College of Arts, Sciences, Business and Education. “We incorporate curricular and co-curricular programming in varying formats to create a strong culture of engagement, preparing new students, not only for a successful academic career, but for a successful life.”

Students are placed in groups led by student mentors throughout the week. Sessions provide an overview of liberal education, navigating the classroom and the tenets of social justice. Students also meet with advisors, register for classes and learn about the academic and social resources available to them.

Ramdition concludes on Saturday, Aug. 19, with Through the Archway. The ceremony begins with a processional, led by the sophomore class, the Student Government Association and Chancellor Elwood L. Robinson. Students will walk through the university’s historic arches, symbolizing their transition from “lambs to Rams.” Along the processional route, students will be greeted by faculty, staff, administration, alumni and their families.

Through the Archway will be followed by the Family Day Cookout and an opportunity to meet the student-athletes participating in fall sports at Meet the Rams at 1:30 p.m. During that event, fans will get a first look at a fierce new WSSU Ram logo.

Other highlights of Ramdition include:

Tuesday, Aug. 15
Write Your Legacy Project: Students will formulate a set of values that govern them.

Wednesday, Aug. 16
Glow Walk 2K: The Class of 2021 will focus on keeping healthy with a nighttime walk/run around the campus featuring hundreds of glow sticks.

Thursday, Aug. 17
Community Service Day: Students will participate in community service projects with 19 community organizations across Winston-Salem. The day concludes with the creation of a large social justice-themed florescent outdoor painting. Artist Donell Williams, who has participated in a number of public arts projects in Winston-Salem, will interact with students as he creates the painting, starting at 7 p.m.

Class of 2021 in numbers:

  • Number of students: More than 950
  • Percent in-state: 92 percent
  • Number of North Carolina counties of residence: 68
  • Top three counties of residence: Mecklenburg, Guilford and Forsyth
  • Percent who are first-generation (neither parent completed a bachelor’s degree): 28 percent
New Rams also include nearly 500 transfer students.

 The Ramdition tradition began in 2009.

 A bold past. A brilliant future.

For 125 years, Winston-Salem State University has fostered the creative thinking, analytical problem-solving, and depth of character needed to transform the world. Rooted in liberal education, WSSU’s curriculum prepares students to be thought leaders who have the skills and knowledge needed to develop innovative solutions to complex problems. WSSU is a historically Black constituent institution of the University of North Carolina with a rich tradition of contributing to the social, cultural, intellectual, and economic growth of North Carolina, the region and beyond. Guided by the motto, “Enter to Learn. Depart to Serve,” WSSU develops leaders who advance social justice by serving the world with compassion and commitment. Join us in celebrating our 125th anniversary with events throughout 2017. Learn more by visiting WSSU's 125th Anniversary website.

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