Meg Werthin with the Office of Registrar greets freshman Jared Liley, of East Alton, on the first day of classes.

EDWARDSVILLE - Volunteers with Ask Me! signs spread throughout Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s campus on Monday, Aug. 19, as the fall 2019 academic year began. The faculty, staff and administrators greeted students and offered guidance to ensure a smooth start to the semester.

“Lovejoy Library is right over there,” said SIUE Admissions Counselor Ramón DeShazer as he pointed a student toward the building. “Have a great first day!”

“Everyone seems really welcoming and like they want to make you a part of the big SIUE family,” said freshman Sydney Blocker, of St. Louis.

Students also enjoyed a free lemonade treat as lunch time drew near, with more welcoming and encouraging interaction with the campus community.

“We want students to feel the happy energy of our campus community, and hope to do what we can to ease any worries or answer questions they may have on this first day of classes,” said Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Jeffrey Waple, PhD. “This is an exciting time for students, as there are ample opportunities to make connections and become involved. We encourage our new and returning students to learn about the many resources and activities available to them on campus, so they can have a fun and successful year.”

“I’m nervous about the college work and expectations, but I’m excited about starting a new chapter,” explained freshman Ruth Matthews, of Alton.

“I’m glad to be here and eager to start getting involved,” said freshman Damian Morris.

“My hopes are to make lifelong friends,” added Jannah Harris, a freshman from St. Louis. “I want to make lasting relationships with people who are going to be there when I’m struggling, and when I’m succeeding.”

Monday, Aug. 19-30, students will enjoy a resource fair, multiple campus engagement activities, a merchant’s fair, leadership program interest sessions and more during the Cougar Welcome.

A full list of Cougar Welcome events is available at

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville provides students with a high quality, affordable education that prepares them for successful careers and lives of purpose to shape a changing world. Built on the foundation of a broad-based liberal education, and enhanced by hands-on research and real-world experiences, the academic preparation SIUE students receive equips them to thrive in the global marketplace and make our communities better places to live. Situated on 2,660 acres of beautiful woodland atop the bluffs overlooking the natural beauty of the Mississippi River’s rich bottomland and only a short drive from downtown St. Louis, the SIUE campus is home to a diverse student body of more than 13,000.

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