Weekend news roundup: New Student Connection Day, Welcome Back Week, and Tarleton Administrator Plans Transition to Teaching

By Rachel Peoples and Bethany Kyle – 

Editor and Managing Editor

This is the third year the Division of Student Life has hosted a day of activities to welcome incoming students. The annual New Student Connection Day celebration took place on campus Friday, Jan. 10, and included many of the activities new students have enjoyed during the last two years. But this year, something was new.

“This is our first year to invite all new students, including freshmen,” said Lathes Towns, director of Transition and Family Relations and coordinator for the event.

Assistant Vice President of the Division of Student Life Darla Doty speaks to new students during a dinner at the third annual New Student Connection Day.
(Bethany Kyle, Texan News Service)

In the past, the event has focused on getting new transfer students established in their new home. However, Towns said there are often large numbers of freshmen and other new students entering Tarleton during the spring semester, and the Division of Student Life saw the need to expand the event to include all newcomers.

Towns said approximately 70 students and their families signed up to attend the day’s activities, which included a resource fair to get to know the different departments on campus, spending time with the Tarleton Transition Mentors (TTM) to get connected, and a question and answer session for the students and their families with a panel of campus dignitaries that included President Dominic Dottavio.

Some new students are coming to Tarleton from as far away as Georgia, Ohio, Kansas, and California. Caitlyn Flanary, a sophomore animal science major transfer from Tarrant County College, said, she was glad to get her questions answered by the experience.

“I’ve met a lot of nice people,” Flanary said.

After a dinner hosted by Darla Doty, assistant vice president of the Division of Student Life, the new students were invited to trade in shirts from their old school for a new Tarleton shirt, signifying their “upgrade” to their new home at Tarleton.

Division of Student Life kicks off ‘welcome back week’

The Division of Student Life welcomes back returning Texans this week by hosting activities and giving away prizes all week long.

In an email sent last week, the department announced that photo booths have been stationed around campus for students to take selfies. Tweet your selfie using the hashtag #TarletonWelcomeBack and show to the department to win a Tarleton shirt from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.

Also on Wednesday, starting at 8 p.m., students will gather on the football field for an aerial photo of the Tarleton logo. The first 1,000 students will receive a free Tarleton beanie.

Student Life continues the festivities Saturday as the Tarleton Texans and Texanns take on Cameron University. Students will have a chance to win a copy of the photo taken Wednesday.

Tarleton board member to transition to into teaching position

President Dottavio announced in an email Thursday that Dr. Rick Richardson, Tarleton’s Senior Vice President for Advancement & External Relations and Capital Campaign Director, will transition into a faculty position in the College of Business Administration.

Richardson began teaching in the College of Business Administration in the spring of 2013 and will begin serving as an assistant professor of business law next fall.

While serving as Vice President, Richardson played a major role in the efforts of various committees designed to improve Tarleton as a whole, including helping to raise over $23 million in gifts to the university, the largest in Tarleton’s history.

The email also announced that Dr. Kyle McGregor, chief of staff to the president, is to replace Richardson at the same time.

The president expressed his respect for both colleagues in the email.

“We are fortunate that two such talented and dedicated people are willing to accept new leadership roles on behalf of the Tarleton community,”  Dottavio wrote. “I wish both Rick and Kyle the very best as they continue their legacy of service to our faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends.”

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