Joplin, MO – The 15th annual Welcome Week Picnic will jump-start the first day of school at Missouri Southern State University.  The annual event will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Aug. 22, on the Oval.

The picnic will include free food, a live DJ and fun activities including an obstacle course, a life-size game of Hungry Hungry Hippos, a sand art station and spin art Frisbees. At noon, 500 free T-shirts will be handed out to students with valid student IDs.

The picnic is among a full week of activities planned for new and returning students.


Freshman convocation ceremony: 2 p.m., Taylor Performing Arts Center.

Glo-ga Party: 9 to 11 p.m., Student Life Center. Students are invited to put on their best togas to learn about Greek life at Missouri Southern and enjoy music by a live DJ in a blacklight/glow-in-the-dark setting.


Campus Craze: 5 to 7 p.m., on the Oval. Students are invited to meet with representatives from a variety of student organizations.

Comedian Jessi Campbell: 7 p.m., on the Oval. Featured on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” Campbell was named 2015 Performer of the Year by Campus Activities magazine, She has performed at more than 200 colleges and 100 comedy clubs around the country.


President’s Ice Cream Social: 10:30 a.m. (while supplies last), in Billingsly Student Center. Dr. Alan Marble and members of the Presidents Council will dish up ice cream sundaes to welcome students back to class.

Speed Meeting: 7 to 9 p.m., Lions’ Den. Free to freshmen students. Great prizes!


Community Day: 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., on the Oval. Students will be able to visit with area businesses and non-profits at over 90 booths to sample products and explore job and volunteer opportunities.


Campus Involvement Day: 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., on the Oval. Students can get information and register for organizations on campus.

Ivan Pecel presents ‘Making Juggling Tolerable’: 7 p.m., Corley Auditorium. A favorite among colleges, cruise ships and the Las Vegas Strip, Pecel’s show is a mix of comedy and amazing juggling skills.


Survivor Night Extreme: 7 to 10 p.m., Campus Oval. Featuring a zipline, archery tag and more.  Free T-shirts will be handed out to students to the first 200 students presenting valid student IDs.

British Invasion concert: 7:30 p.m., Taylor Performing Arts Center. The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra, joined by two guest vocalists, will offer a selection of classic rock songs by British artists and songwriters. Free and open to the public.