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Gold Rush Days, Aug. 17-20

Published Monday, August 14, 2023

SMSU Students Welcome Families for Move-In Day 2022
SMSU Students Welcome Families for Move-In Day 2022

A new class of freshmen will arrive on campus starting Aug. 17 for the start of the Fall semester at Southwest Minnesota State University. Gold Rush Days serves as the new student orientation program and runs Aug. 17-20.

This comprehensive program provides first-year students the opportunity to meet classmates while participating in activities to help prepare them for life at SMSU.

Gold Rush begins with Move-In Day on Thursday, Aug. 17. Teams of volunteers known as ‘Mustang Movers’ will be on hand to help new students carry belongings into residence halls. SMSU athletic teams, students, faculty, staff, and community members continue this tradition that was started by the late President Doug Sweetland. 

Residence hall check-ins begin at 8 a.m. and continue through 5 p.m. Schwan’s ice cream treats will be handed out by the SMSU Alumni Office from 10 a.m. until noon. A Move-In Day Campus Picnic will be held in the Alumni Plaza from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. for students, families, and movers. In the afternoon, students can tour the campus to familiarize themselves with the academic buildings before they begin on Monday, Aug. 21! 

Dr. Joe Martin, an academic motivational speaker, will give a presentation on Thursday at 8:15 p.m. geared toward helping all students be successful. Dr. Martin is also the featured speaker at the convocation on Friday, Aug. 18 at 10 a.m. in the Upper Conference Center. Following convocation, students meet their academic advisors. 

The afternoon is highlighted by Saddle Up!, an engaging program to connect new students, promote campus unity, and ignite school spirit! A Campus Scavenger Hunt allows students to learn about a variety of services our campus offers. The afternoon is filled with a variety of games followed by the Mustang BBQ. Students can hop on a shuttle to Sounds of Summer events in the evening capped off by a dance party in the Lower Conference Center.

On Saturday, Aug. 19 there will be activities such as mud volleyball, whiffle ball, hammock hang, frisbee disk golf, laser tag, and amusement games. Student Alumni Association will host a bonfire starting at 8:30 p.m. Students will also have the option to hop on a shuttle downtown for the Sounds of Summer events.

Gold Rush Days wrap up on Sunday with yoga, scooter tours of Marshall's parks, a session on how to use the MAT Bus, and a wide selection of activities. Closing out the day is a Mustang Happy Hour program where students can learn more about campus involvement. 

Fall semester classes begin on Monday, Aug. 21.

For more information about Gold Rush Days visit:

To volunteer as a Mustang Mover, call the Office of Admission at 507-537-6286.

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