This article is part of an ongoing series in which members of the university community document their experiences, both on campus and beyond, from their unique perspective.  

Move-in and Welcome Days are a hilltop ritual. 

For 26 years, Vice President of Student Affairs Lisa Kirkpatrick has been roaming the St. Edward’s campus during move-in to greet new and returning students to campus. It’s one way that she and the entire Student Affairs team demonstrates the strong community and sense of inclusion that are core to the university.

We asked Dr. K. to document a move-in year that was like no other. Here’s her behind-the-scenes look at how the community worked together to welcome our students home.

Welcoming students

Student leaders — who put in countless hours preparing for move-in behind-the-scenes — greet new and returning students to campus.

Opening the door at St. Edward's

Every direction I turn, our resident assistants (RAs) and other student leaders ensure a warm welcome to all. 

Student workers at St. Edward's

I absolutely love how Topper spirit can be found on every corner of the campus!

Directing families to St. Edward's

Welcoming everyone to campus is one way that our staff and student leaders inspire a family-like residential community.

Welcome Days at St. Edward's

Jacie Minnick, a residence director, stops by as I greet and direct folks arriving for move-in. It’s a true team effort.

Students at Welcome Days

Blue and gold are everywhere. I love it!

Campus Safety welcome students back

Officer Nick Delgado of the University Police Department reminds us where to enter a building.

New signage encourages physical distancing

Topper has been busy this summer as he shows us all where to stand in the Casa residence hall.

Lisa Kirkpatrick and Rev. Peter Walsh

Ellisha Isom (director of Residential Education); Father Peter Walsh, CSC,; and I check in with our hardworking staff throughout move-in.

Waiting for new Hilltoppers

Everywhere new families look, our student leaders welcome them with Topper spirit and demonstrate our commitment to community.

RAs welcome students to campus

Our RAs show their faces covered and uncovered on a bulletin board welcoming their residents.

Families arrive at St. Edward's

RAs do check-in drive-in style to make the process as efficient — and as safe — as possible.

Lisa Kirkpatrick and Rev. Peter Walsh

One of my favorite parts of move-in is meeting new students from across the country.

Abbie O'Neill

The never-ending energy of our staff, including Jacie Minnick, allows us to live out the spirit of the hilltop.

Welcome Days

Small groups of students participate in the Legacy Walk, which was led by incredible professional staff and student leaders.

A student at Welcome Days