The long Winter Break exhale for the University of Nevada, Reno campus shifted Tuesday morning to something decidedly more up-tempo.
Parking lots filled. Lines formed in the bookstore. More shuttles began running. Students scurried with purpose from one class to another, many of them pausing just long enough to focus their phones on the site of the Getchell Library, which was demolished during the break to make way for the construction of the William N. Pennington Student Achievement Center.
With the start of instruction for the spring semester also begins what is typically the quickest of all semesters, one characterized by a strong sense of renewal.
Before the campus' nearly 19,000 students realize it, May's Spring Commencement exercises on the Quad will be here.
Here is a sampling of some of the wrinkles that will mark the University's life this spring.
- New University website goes live Jan. 31: A redesigned top-level University website at www.unr.edu will launch on Friday, Jan. 31. The site will feature video, and a fully responsive design that optimizes all devices, including smartphones and tablets.
- ASUN elections: Filing for ASUN elections runs from Jan. 27-31, with this year's campaign to commence on Feb. 5. To find out more, visit the ASUN website.
- New buildings: Several construction projects are swinging into high gear, including the aforementioned Student Achievement Center. For the latest updates, visit the campus construction website.
- Boot Camp mania: Thanks to the success of the University's first academic boot camp last summer, Bio Fit, which brought together 48 first-year biology and neuroscience students in mid-August to prepare these students for the academic and social rigors of the coming year, the University will launch several more such camps in August 2014. Planning begins in earnest this semester for the camps, which will include several more disciplines, and should welcome several hundred freshmen to campus in August. Studies have shown that students who go through such boot camps are twice as likely to graduate in their major.
- Commencement: Last year's Spring Commencement was a resounding success. It marked the first time in the institution's history that undergraduate ceremonies were held over two days. Sun-splashed weather and rampant smiles on the Quad were the order of both days. This year's Commencement on Friday, May 16, and Saturday, May 17, promises to be more of the same. The Friday, May 16 ceremonies will be held at 8:15 a.m. with undergraduates from the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources, College of Business, College of Education, College of Engineering and Division of Health Sciences receiving their degrees, followed by the advanced degree ceremony for master's and doctoral degree candidates at 4:55 p.m. On Saturday, May 17, at 8:15 a.m., undergraduates from the Donald W. Reynolds School of Journalism, College of Liberal Arts and College of Science, will graduate.