If you passed by the gates of Hannibal-LaGrange University on Thursday, Aug. 17, most likely you witnessed the arrival of new students to campus. As those anxious new students and sentimental parents drove onto campus, they were greeted by HLGU President Dr. Anthony Allen, and his wife Stacy. From there, the new students were led to their residence halls where they were welcomed with music, cheers, and eager returning students – the “Trojan Army,” ready to serve the new students and their parents by unloading their cars and moving the students into their new homes.

The Trojan Army is an annual move-in tradition at HLGU and is always a tremendous blessing to new students and especially their parents. Their motto “we move so you don’t have to” fits their service well.

Once settled into their dorm rooms, the new students and parents had free time to explore the campus and finish up any last minute paperwork. Mid-afternoon, the new HLGU students gathered in the Mabee Sports Complex where they met with their new student orientation team leaders and played icebreaker games in an effort to meet new friends and bond with their team.

While the new students met in the Mabee Sports Complex, parents were gathered in the Roland Fine Arts Center where they heard from the administration. A Q&A session took place to answer questions parents had on their minds.

At 5 p.m., parents, family, the Trojan Army, and resident advisors, along with faculty and staff of HLGU, lined the sidewalk from the Roland Fine Arts Center to the HLGU arch in preparation for the Walk of Honor.

A bagpiper led the new students along the path of cheering spectators, encouraging the students on their new journey. After each new student passed through the HLGU arch, President Allen and Stacy welcomed them again with a handshake and a smile.

Students then gathered around the Trinity Tree, located between the L.A. Foster Student Center and the Burt Administration Building, for a final word of encouragement, the alma mater, and a prayer of dedication.

On Friday, the new students spent the morning in university breakout sessions with their new classmates. A movie party was held later that evening. Students were able to spend time together in an effort to help foster new friendships. Saturday night, a “Battle of Troy” dodgeball match was held.

HLGU’s New Student Orientation Saturday activities included time for the freshmen teams to participate in the “Quest for the Trojan Horse” scavenger hunt. This fun activity takes place every year on Main Street so freshmen and incoming students can learn all Hannibal has to offer.

On Sunday, the students started their day by choosing an area worship service to attend. That afternoon students enjoyed visiting the HLGU Activities Fair. This special event allowed the new students to find out more about area churches, activities, and clubs they could choose to become involved with on and around campus.

On Monday, Aug. 21, HLGU students volunteered around Hannibal in the 14th annual Hannibal Helping Hands, a series of community service projects. This year, nearly 200 students went out into the Hannibal community and performed approximately 400 hours of community service. Projects included painting, weeding, washing, organizing, and cleaning for various Hannibal businesses and churches including Hannibal Free Public Library, Graceful Beginnings Daycare, the Hannibal Museum, the Nutrition Center, area churches, and many others.

Later on Monday, an eclipse party was held. Those without proper eye protection were able to experience the event streamed live in the Parker Theatre.

Classes began on Tuesday, Aug. 22, and on Wednesday, Dr. Allen welcomed all students back to campus and to HLGU’s annual Convocation Chapel.

“We’re grateful today for each student that’s here that has accepted the challenge to engage in the pursuit of knowledge, and we’re equally grateful for the distinguished faculty who have dedicated themselves and their lives to the pursuit of knowledge and the calling of teaching and instruction,” said Dr. Allen.

“An investment in your education is an investment in your future,” he told the students. “I know some of you are making an incredible sacrifice to be here. Let me encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity that you have before you.”

Dr. Miles Mullin II, vice president for academic administration, led the students in reciting HLGU’s Honor Code and John Francis, assistant professor of music and worship, led the congregation in singing a hymn. Additional music was provided by Instructor of Music Ben Kendall, a new addition to the HLGU Music Department.