New student rally motivates Mavericks

The class of 2027 received a warm Maverick welcome Friday at the new student rally. 

Students packed the stands at Blakeslee Stadium as the Maverick Machine played tunes to pump students up. Assistant Director of Student Events Team Bill Tourville said the mission for Welcome Week is to help students get adjusted to living on campus. 

“We want students to meet new friend, feeling comfortable and getting ready for the classes so that they’ll be academically successful, but also socially successful,” Tourville said.

While the rally is a valued tradition at Minnesota State, it wasn’t always held on Friday. Tourville said the rally was amped up back in 2016.  

“It was on Sunday right before classes started and we needed a little bit more of a purple and gold type celebration of being a Maverick,” Tourville said. “We worked together with Residential Life to have this on Friday mornings after most people moved in and they officially enter the university.”

Student Body President Sierra Roiger opened the event by telling students that having mixed emotions around starting school are completely normal and they aren’t in it alone. 

“Reach out to your fellow students, your professors, your advisors. We’re all here to help you succeed,” Roiger said.

Roiger told students to immerse themselves into organizations around campus as well as resources for students to utilize such as the bus system and the Maverick Food Pantry. She closed off her speech by recognizing their potential.

“You all are the future leaders, thinkers and change-makers of this world. So dream big, work hard, and never underestimate the impact you can make,” Roiger said. 

Following Roiger’s remarks, MSU President Edward Inch encouraged students to study hard, get involved and enjoy the experience of being in a university community. 

“We want you to deeply immerse yourself in the various disciplines that you are going to study, but university life is more than sitting in the classroom,” Inch said. “There’s so many more things that happen on the university campus that are important for us to remember to engage in.”

Student Events Team Vice President Atlas James spoke on his journey to MSU from Kentucky and the opportunities he’s been given. Having been homeless at 19 years old, he saved up enough money by working to get an apartment. He recalled his struggles led him to where he is today. 

“I had a newfound determination that proved to me that I could do anything I want, to achieve anything. Here I am on the stage continuing to prove to myself that I can do that,” James said.

Students then walked through the Alumni Arch near the bell tower on their way to the Backyard Bash. Faculty and Greek Life lined the pathway, cheering them on as they entered their new chapter at MSU. 

Freshman Josie Bohn is an agribusiness major who came to MSU for the proximity to her hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. 

“I wanted to go out of state, but I didn’t want to go too far from home,” Bohn said. 

Freshman Macallan Meehling also attended the rally. As a Spanish major with an international business minor, Meehling said he’s looking forward to meeting new people.  

“I came to MSU because I like all of the opportunities they have,” Meehling said. 

While Bohn said she enjoyed the food and walking through the arch, Meehling said he enjoyed hearing James’ speech. 

“Even though it was really windy and his papers flew off, he kept on going and had a really good speed,” Meehling said.

Tourville said he hopes students take advantage of Welcome Week.

“I hope they make new friends and that they feel like they belong here,” Tourville said.

Header Photo: President Edward Inch addressed the class of 2027 at the new student rally on Friday. Student Body President Sierra Roiger and Student Events Team Vice President Atlas James also gave remarks. (Lilly Anderson/The Reporter)

Write to Emma Johnson at

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