University of Iowa welcomes students with convocation and block party - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

University of Iowa welcomes students with convocation and block party

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) - It's Welcome Week at the University of Iowa. Thousands of students jammed the university pentacrest for an opening ceremony, and then a party hosted by President Sally Mason.

In addition to the big block party bash at President Mason's house, the University of Iowa welcomed incoming freshman with a convocation ceremony, something they haven't done in years. It was a chance for the university to show its resilience after recovering from last year's devastating flood, and another chance for students to absorb some of that famous Hawkeye pride.

Banners of black and gold flew high Sunday near Madison Street, which was under feet of water last June. But for President Mason, those bad memories are being replaced by positive ones.

"These young people stay with us; we're so pleased. It was a rough year for all of us last year, but I have to say we've come out stronger than ever on the other side."

An estimated 4,000 students converged on the hill in front of the Old Capitol for an opening convocation ceremony, including a record number of freshmen, according to undergraduate Student Body President Michael Currie.

"We've needed something to get students ready to go in the fall, and I think this is just the thing we needed," said Currie.

Afterwards, it was a short walk to President Mason's home, for some music, free food, and yes, lots of dancing.

"It's a really good atmosphere," said Jacob Jenkins. "A lot of new people, a lot of new places; you don't know everybody, it's fun."

Gina Belcastro was walking with friends, enjoying the sights and sounds. "I just have seen the inside of my dorm, so it's cool to see how big this actually is, and how many people come here."

But this party won't last forever, as the first official day of classes is Monday morning.

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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