Special Events Planned as Part of Fall Opening


AMHERST, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Amherst kicks off another school year as it welcomes 4,600 new students to the state’s flagship public university. The busy schedule of events through Labor Day is part of the New Students Orientation and First Week programs. Highlights include:

  • New Students Convocation, Saturday, Aug. 31, 11:30 a.m., Mullins Center. Students will be taught the university cheer, fight song and alma mater and also hear from Colin Beavan, author of this year’s common read, “No Impact Man.” Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy and other campus leaders will address the incoming class. Following convocation, new students will form a giant 2017 for a class photo in lot 25 near the Mullins Center.
  • Adventure into Amherst, Saturday, 3-5 p.m. Students will explore downtown Amherst and its many stores, restaurants and other businesses. Students can enjoy music, food and special deals offered by many shops.
  • UFest, an afternoon of fun on Sunday, Sept. 1 from noon to 5 p.m. on the Goodell lawn. Highlights will includecommunity service projects, such as making care packages for the military and blankets for Project Linus, registering as bone marrow donors or volunteering to work in the UMass Permaculture Garden. All of the projects are linked to the theme of UMass Amherst’s 150th anniversary celebration.
  • Sesquicentennial rope pull, Sunday, Sept. 1 at 4 p.m. in front of the Old Chapel. Teams of new students will compete in a revival ofa campus tradition dating back to 1893.
  • Fruit salad world record attempt, Monday, Sept. 2, 4 p.m., Haigis Mall near the Fine Arts Center. The annual welcome barbecue will attempt to set a world record by preparing a 15,000-pound fruit salad incorporating locally grown produce mixed in a 15-foot diameter reinforced swimming pool.