August at Florida Gulf Coast University means move-in, the start of a new academic semester and the return of Weeks of Welcome. WOW is an annual tradition of fun events to help involve new students on campus and welcome back returning Eagles.
“Since WOW is open to all students, we want to try to have a little something for everyone,” says Lindsey Johns, assistant dean of students in Campus Life, about the wide variety of events planned through Aug. 31. The Office of Organizations and Student Involvement collaborates with many campus departments to create lifelong memories through WOW.
For incoming students who may have left home for the first time, WOW activities can help foster a sense of community by connecting new people. Many events provide opportunities to explore the 150-plus student organizations available to Eagles and learn more about the breadth of activities and resources on campus.
Following are highlights of recent Weeks of Welcome events.
Welcome Party & First Day Fair
The Aug. 11 Welcome Party kicked off the WOW events. The scent of fresh-cut grass wafted through the air on Recreation Field 2 in South Village. Music boomed from Eagle Hall to the parking garage. Clusters of students laughed and chatted as they tried their luck at a variety of lawn games, including a giant Jenga set and cornhole.
The First Day Fair, so-called because it’s held on the first day of classes, showcased the university’s academic and extracurricular offerings. Tents dotted the library lawn’s pathways at the Aug. 14 event co-hosted by the WOW committee and Programming Board (PB), a student-led organization that plans events year-round for FGCU students. With food, rides, giveaways and more, passersby learned about a variety of departments and their commitment to student success.
Eagle Revolution & REXPO
FGCU’s biggest party of the year and the embodiment of school spirit, the tiki-themed Eagle Revolution took place later that night. A large-scale pep rally, the main event introduced all the athletics teams and coaches to a packed Alico Arena. Those who signed up for Dirty Birds, the official student fan group of FGCU Athletics, also took home a 2023 swag T-shirt (still available online).
The next day, REXPO took students on a journey of self-discovery and exploration. University Recreation transformed the library lawn into a realm of possibilities as sport clubs, from Medieval Combat Club to FGCU Sailing Club, showcased various facets of well-rounded student life.
One of WOW’s wackiest events? Canoe Battleship, hosted in FGCU’s Olympic-sized pool at the Lee County/FGCU Aquatics Center. Teams of three to four swimsuited students climbed into canoes armed with buckets, determined to sink their opponent’s canoes. It’s competition meets camaraderie, proving that the pursuit of education can be sprinkled with moments of pure, unadulterated fun.
And that was just the first week. Still to come: Casino Night, WOW Day of Service, Diversity YOUniversity, Involvement Fair and more. Find more WOW events on EagleLink.