Illinois State University’s Dean of Students Office of Diversity Advocacy and University College will host the first-ever Freshman Induction Ceremony from 3-4 p.m. Sunday, August 20, in Capen Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Logo with the words Diversity at StateThe event aims to welcome incoming, first-year, and transfer students from diverse cultural backgrounds to the Illinois State University campus. The Freshman Induction Ceremony is a new addition to Welcome Week, and will provide participants an opportunity to network with other students, faculty members, and cultural organizations.

“An induction ceremony is befitting to kick off the school year during Welcome Week at ISU to affirm and encourage underrepresented freshmen,” said Associate Dean Renee’ Watson of the Dean of Students Office. “We want these students to know they are surrounded by a community of faculty, staff, students, and student leaders who earnestly care about their success and desire to see them graduate at ISU; nothing else will do.”

The ISU community is enriched by the lived experience and presence of the students, added Watson, who noted the theme of the ceremony is for incoming students to celebrate their identity, represent with pride, affirm with passion, and connect with purpose.  “This is a great way for incoming underrepresented students to network and hopefully develop a support system.”

Participants in the event are recommended to bring their smartphones along with them. The dress code for students taking part is a combination of red, black, and/or white.

Faculty and staff members are welcome to support the initiative by volunteering in the event. Those interested in volunteering can contact Christa Platt at

For additional information on the Freshman Induction Ceremony, contact Watson at