The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa hosted a welcome back to school event, Welina Mānoa 2017, on the first day of the fall semester. More than 3,000 students, faculty and staff filled the Campus Center area enjoying food, games, giveaways, music and more than 85 booths representing student clubs, student services and academic departments.

Enjoying all the activities was UH Mānoa freshman Sarah Matsumura. “I think it is really good that they have a lot of booths out there. I see lots of clubs and dance events.”

UH Mānoa Interim Chancellor, David Lassner added “It’s really an opportunity for students to meet each other and establish connections with different parts of the campus that we hope will bind them to UH Mānoa and keep with us for the next four years.”

“More than a hundred different units, offices, departments and campus partners volunteered to make this a successful event,” said Lori Ideta, the interim vice chancellor for students from the Office of Student Affairs, who organized the event. “It just shows that everyone is strongly committed to welcoming all of our students, especially our freshmen and transfer students, so that they come to understand that the Mānoa campus is their home and that there are so many people, resources and exciting opportunities available to them.”

It was a great welcome for new students and a welcome back to returning students. Attendees participated in the I Got Spirit Best Outfit Contest and a lucky number giveaway with prizes that included iPad Air2, Beats Solo2 headphones, Toshiba LED TV, Echo Dot, Oakley sunglasses, movie tickets and more.

“I really love it and it is an awesome opportunity just to be here. Kind of bummed that as a senior this is the first one but I am excited for all of the future students,” said Bailey Carlson, UH Mānoa senior.

Welina Mānoa ended with a rousing performance by the UH band, cheerleaders and rainbow dancers, giving students a lively send off to the first day of their fall 2017 adventure.

Carlson added, “Just take this time to get involved now so that way you are not wishing you had gotten involved earlier.”

Staff wearing U H Mānoa green welcome students at Welina Mānoa