Buckle Up, New Students: UVA Can’t Wait To Greet You With Hearty ‘Wahoo Welcome’

August 17, 2022 By Jane Kelly, jak4g@virginia.edu Jane Kelly, jak4g@virginia.edu

Once the Class of 2026 is all moved in, the action at the University of Virginia will just be getting started.

UVA’s signature “Wahoo Welcome” program is jampacked with six weeks of activities to help new students begin their lives at the University, bond with new peers and settle into their new homes.

The schedule is a mix of mandatory and free events that Robyn Hadley, vice president and dean of students, hopes will help first-year and transfer students feel right at home.

“Wahoo Welcome has become a Universitywide celebration of our newest students,” said Hadley, who is also UVA’s chief student affairs officer. “The first week of events ranges from the Saturday night concert to Sunday’s first-year convocation and honor induction, and the Student Activities Fair. We are so excited about having our community back together to celebrate the start of a new academic year.”

Here are some of the highlights of Wahoo Welcome; visit the welcome webpage for information on events, dates, times and locations.

Residence Hall Meetings

On the evening they move into their dorms, students must attend a welcome meeting with their resident adviser. Fun fact: There are about 240 resident staff members at UVA and all are students. (This story reveals what the early days of dorm life are like at UVA.)

Grounds for Discussion’

“Grounds for Discussion” is a student-directed and performed theatrical production and is required viewing for all first-year students. The skits will be performed Friday and Saturday on a rolling basis for groups of dorms in the auditorium in Old Cabell Hall. They will focus on ways to resolve roommate disagreements, upholding the honor code and other things students may encounter during their time at UVA. The performances are complemented by follow-up discussions.

A statue stands in Scott Stadium at UVA that reads "4TH S DE" in orange and white.
As newcomers will soon discover, UVA spectators are the “Fourth Side” of the football team, after the offense, defense and special teams. (Photo by Sanjay Suchak, University Communications)
Infographic featuring Sean Kingston

Sean Kingston will perform a free concert at John Paul Jones Arena on Saturday.

Welcome to the 4th Side

UVA football fans are an extension of the sidelines and are considered part of the “4th Side,” after the team’s offense, defense and special teams. Students will get to meet UVA’s new football coach, Tony Elliott, and the team Friday night at 8:30 p.m. at Scott Stadium at an old-fashioned pep rally. The newest Wahoos will each receive a free, exclusive Class of 2026 football T-shirt and learn the “The Good Old Song” from the Cavalier Marching Band. Be sure to bring your student ID. This event is required for first-year students.

Wahoo Welcome Concert Featuring Sean Kingston

The student-run University Programs Council is bringing concert artist Sean Kingston to UVA for a free show Saturday night at 8 p.m. in John Paul Jones Arena. It is open to all students and faculty.

Kingston is an American-Jamaican singer and rapper known for songs “Take You There” and “Beautiful Girls.” Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and students must present their UVA ID cards.

The Aquatic and Fitness Center will host an after-party with free food trucks, games and more.

Class of 2026 Run with Jim

Students are invited to come out Sunday morning to Observatory Hill Field for an 8 a.m. walk/run with UVA President Jim Ryan, followed by snacks and mingling. Bring your University ID and a water bottle. Attendees will also receive a “Run with Jim” T-shirt while supplies last. Register online.

Students gather on the Lawn in front of a stage with various speakers.
Members of the Class of 2026 will come together for the first time Sunday for Opening Convocation, where they will sign the honor code, promising not to lie, cheat or steal. (Photo by Sanjay Suchak, University Communications)

Opening Convocation

On Sunday evening at 6 p.m. on the Lawn, the Class of 2026 will gather for the first time for its official welcome to UVA. Ryan and many other leaders will speak and students will sign UVA’s Honor Code, promising to never lie, cheat or steal.

The event, which is mandatory for Class of 2026 students, will be followed by an ice cream social with Ryan on the lower Lawn at 7:30 p.m.

Infographic featuring Matteo Lane and Sabrina Wu in front of a purple background.

Comedians Matteo Lane and Sabrina Wu will entertain students Aug. 25 in the Old Cabell Hall auditorium.

Student Activities Fair

Student Council organizes the annual event at the bottom of the Lawn, surrounding the Homer statue, in the McIntire Amphitheater and outside Peabody Hall. It takes place Monday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

UVA has hundreds of clubs, many of which “table” at the fair, inviting new members, and thousands of students attend each year. Don’t miss it!

Rotunda Sing

Students are invited to begin gathering Aug. 24 at 7:15 p.m. on the Lawn in front of the Rotunda steps for UVA’s beloved “Rotunda Sing,” where the school’s many talented a cappella groups perform. Performances begin at 8 p.m. and there will be free food.

Live Comedy Show Featuring Matteo Lane

Matteo Lane will headline this year’s comedy show, set for Aug. 25 in the Old Cabell Hall auditorium.

Lane has more than 650,000 Instagram followers and performs to sold-out crowds all over the world. He has shared the stage with Chelsea Handler, Aziz Ansari and Hasan Minhaj. The opening act is Sabrina Wu, a Brooklyn-based stand-up comedian. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show concludes at 9 p.m.

Media Contact

Jane Kelly

University News Associate Office of University Communications