Pioneer WOW kicks off the academic year for students with 10 days of fun and informative activities that enhance campus life

GREENEVILLE – New residential and commuter students who are beginning their pursuit of a bachelor’s degree at Tusculum University will quickly develop friendships, learn more about the campus and become more settled through a special upcoming event filled with fun and informative activities.

Students prepare to participate in a contest in which they unwrap a frozen T-shirt during the 2022 Pioneer WOW.

Students participate in one of the games during the Pioneer Showdown in 2022.

Pioneer WOW is a 10-day event that kicks off the morning of Thursday, Aug. 17. That day, freshmen and transfer students who will live on campus move into the residence halls. After they enjoy a delicious lunch with their families prepared by local churches, these students will take part in a series of activities that will keep them busy virtually nonstop through the evening of Saturday, Aug. 19.

Among the activities will be the Pioneer Showdown competition, Amazing Race and Scavenger Hunt, Movie Night at the Ballpark, Freshman Day of Service and Free Float Friday. It will end with the Pioneer Showcase and an ice cream sundae social.

The second phase of Pioneer WOW begins Sunday, Aug. 20, and runs through Saturday, Aug. 26, and consists of activities for new and returning students. The level of activity is considerably less than what will take place the first three days but is designed to continue growing camaraderie among the student body during the first week of classes. Classes begin Monday, Aug. 21.

“Pioneer WOW enriches personal lives by building school spirit and allowing new students to develop connections immediately with their peers as well as faculty and staff members at the university,” said Dr. Scott Hummel, Tusculum’s president. “Attending college is an exciting experience, but it can make students a bit nervous as they branch out on their own. Pioneer WOW eases that transition and ensures they will have the support and friendships they need to become career-ready, civically engaged professionals. All of it takes place in a caring Christian environment.”

This spirit is evident from the moment new students step on campus. Returning students and representatives of the community will be on hand to assist students with moving their belongings into their room. That approach remains throughout the three days as the new students interact with a returning student and a faculty or staff member who will be with them as part of a group.

The first three days are comprehensive and include many activities that will help students navigate college life and become even more familiar with the historic campus. The new students will participate in three resource rotations, which will give them valuable information about services and programs available at Tusculum.

Ylva Landa paints a railing during Freshman Day of Service in 2022.

Inmaculada Felipe Delgado has fun during the Pioneer Showdown in 2022.

They will also have an opportunity to eat with Dr. Hummel and Dr. Tricia Hunsader, the university’s provost and vice president of academic affairs, as well as representatives of their academic department. They will also take a campus tour.

During the second phase of Pioneer WOW, students will be able to participate in a cookout; a bonfire; Worship Night with Arrowhead Church; Pioneer Bingo; Slip, Slide and Snow Cones; and hiking.

The Office of Student Affairs organizes and runs Pioneer WOW. WOW is an acronym for Welcome Orientation Week. The event is so important to a new student’s development that Student Affairs requires attendance at all activities during the first three days.

“By participating in Pioneer WOW, these new students will become even more comfortable with their surroundings on campus and be well-prepared to hit the ground running on the first day of classes,” said Claire Hensley, associate vice president of student affairs and retention. “College is one of the most memorable times in a student’s life, and we are focused on providing that one-on-one approach and mentoring that will help our students achieve their dreams. Pioneer WOW sets the tone for that mindset.”

To learn more Pioneer WOW, please visit More information about the university is available at