Your student has, undoubtedly, accomplished a great deal this semester. Many of them left their family and friends behind for the very first time, many moving to a brand-new state. For the very first time, they have joined a community as an independent adult. They have spent the past few months striving to expand their minds and courageously stepping outside their comfort zones. It has been an honor to watch your sons and daughters flourish in their time here since you dropped them off in August.
Your students have been undeniably busy and active in their UD community; whether they volunteered for The Big Event, participated in Charity Week, or joined a new club. Here are some of the stand out-events that your son or daughter had an opportunity to be a part of this semester.
With their chock-full schedules this year, students still found time to be very passionate about recreational programming. This fall was the first semester since the pandemic began that Recreational Programming has been able to operate at full capacity, and the UD community definitely rejoiced at its reinstatement. This fall, students could join flag football or softball intramural seasons, play in the Sand Volleyball Weekend Tournament, or join the zumba and yoga fitness classes offered on campus. In the spring, students will have soccer, basketball, and court volleyball intramural seasons to look forward to.
At UD, we really do like to celebrate everything, even the end of the autumnal season. Fall Fest is UD’s annual fall celebration that highlights student talent, whether it is in the form of art, musical prowess, or their ability to roast coffee beans in a dorm room, then package and sell them to their peers. This year we had over 34 student vendors come out and sell caringly crafted works of art, pottery, jewelry, roasted coffee beans, clothing, and many more eclectic items that our creative student body could produce. This student market was closed by our Battle of the Bands competition, where three student bands competed for the top prize of opening the 2022 Party in the Park Groundhog Celebration.
This year 42% of this freshman class are from out of state. Many students who come to the University of Dallas are very unfamiliar with the DFW area and are unsure how they can take advantage of living right outside of a large metroplex with all the opportunities it can offer. This is why we implemented the Dallas Year program this fall. Each month, students have had the opportunity to sign up for different excursions and experiences that take place in the city of Dallas. Students were able to go to Klyde Warren Park, the Dallas Museum of Art, the historic Dallas Farmers Market, and to see the Hamilton Broadway play. For most of these events, we take public transportation to teach students how to navigate the city that they will call home for the next four years. In doing so students become more equipped to navigate Rome and other European cities when they travel abroad. We are excited to extend this program to the spring, and we are hoping to take a trip to the Kimbell Art Museum and visit the world-renowned Dallas World Aquarium.
We want to take this opportunity to tell you about UD’s most cherished event, Groundhog Day, which will be taking place on Feb. 5, 2022. While it may seem a little strange that a small Catholic institution outside of Dallas, Texas, would go to such great lengths to celebrate this odd American tradition, you can be assured it is definitely as strange as it seems. To give some context, 50-odd years ago students at the University of Dallas chose Groundhog Day as their official school holiday. While we do not have an actual rodent to make weather predictions, or Bill Murray to announce them, we do host a fantastic celebration called Groundhog: Party in the Park. This event features live music, food, drink, and friendship as the whole UD community comes together to celebrate this wonderfully weird UD tradition.
Tickets for Groundhog 2022: Party in the Park will go on sale on Dec. 22 and will be available for purchase on the University of Dallas webpage. More information about the event and ticket sales will be sent to your students over the break.