It was a week of contests, prize giveaways, dance-offs, outdoor movies and more free food than even the hungriest college student could eat. But, more importantly, it was an annual rite of passage for Brookdale’s student body: a unique opportunity to break down barriers and forge a connection with classmates, professors, advisors, and campus organizations.
“I had no idea Brookdale did things like this,” said first year student Cara Megill, after participating in her first ever “Welcome Back Week” at the college. “There’s a lot more going on here that I thought there would be.”
CeLIBration, co-hosted by the library and Student Life and Activities, featured a wide range of interactive contests, puzzles and activities, including karaoke, a photo booth and massive versions of the childhood games “Jenga” and “Connect Four.”
Students were able to earn a stamp in their FYE Passport for attending the event, and were treated to lunch, dessert and even freshly prepared smoothies on behalf of the Student Life Board.
Attendees were also able to take guided tours of the library and learn about the unique resources it offers to Brookdale students, including laptop and e-reader loans, free WiFi, designated quiet areas and the new Learning Commons, offering free general skills tutoring for all Brookdalians.
“We also have computer labs, printing facilities and librarians who are available to help students with their research for class assignments,” said interim library director Steven Chudnik.
“We want students to have a good time and to feel welcome in the library. We have so many services here that can help students succeed both in college and in their personal and professional lives.”
Students also received raffle tickets for each game and activity they competed in. At the conclusion of CeLIBration, two lucky students walked away with Brookdale goodie bags, while first-year student Annette Giacobbe won the grand prize: a new iPad mini.
Welcome Back programming continued on Sept. 16 with a free, outdoor showing of “Jurassic World” at 7 p.m. near the Student Life Center.
Welcome Back Week officially concluded on Sept. 17 with a college-wide Jersey Blues Tailgate Party held during college hour in the BAC visitors’ parking lot.
Featuring cart races, cornhole, ladder toss, a live DJ, the Jersey Blues mascot, free merchandise and a wide range of “gameday food” including burgers, sausages, funnel cakes and fried Oreos, the tailgate party was a fitting end to a week-long celebration of community and college spirit.
“To see our college come together like this, it helps you realize how special Brookdale really is,” said Brookdale President Dr. Maureen Murphy, one of many college faculty, staff and administrators to don their Jersey Blues colors at the tailgate party.
“You would be hard-pressed to find a student body as engaged as ours anywhere else in higher education. And, as we all know, engaged students are successful students. They are more likely to earn a degree and achieve their goals, both academically and professionally. It doesn’t just make for a better Brookdale. It makes for a better community, and it makes for a better world.”
Learn more about campus clubs, student organizations and upcoming events by visiting the Student Life and Activities webpage.
Learn more about e-book and laptop loans, computer and printing services, the Brookdale Tutoring Center and other services on the Bankier Library webpage.
Check out more photos of CeLIBration 2015 here.
Check out more photos of the Jersey Blues Tailgate Party here.
(Featured photos by Mark DeYoung, college relations intern)