Panther Welcome

Panther Welcome is a program designed specifically to help new students:

  • make meaningful connections with other new students, staff and faculty
  • take care of important business before classes start
  • become acquainted with campus and Cedar Falls
  • discover University of Northern Iowa traditions
  • have fun and find out what it means to be a UNI Panther!

We will be checking students in at each event. For each event you are marked as present you will be entered to win one of the grand prize drawings. 

Panther Welcome for new students will lead right into Welcome Week, which is for all UNI students. 

Check out the 2023 schedule below!

Wednesday, August 16

Time Event Location Event Details
10:00AM - 3:00PM

Panther Welcome Check In Tents

Quads Court Yard &
Outside Towers Center

Stop by and check in for Panther Welcome. You will sign the Panther Welcome event waiver and get your event wristband.


Look for the purple pop up tents in the courtyard by Hagemann, Noehren, Rider and Shull or outside the Towers Center by Bender Hall.

4:30 - 5:00PM

Cat Crew Meet Up

On campus students: Check your dorm house lounge for meeting location


Off campus students: Meet at Student Success & Retention Office in Gilchrist 102

You will meet your Cat Crew leader. During this time you will get to know your Panther Welcome group and then will head over to the tailgate dinner together.


5:00 - 6:30PM


Kick Off Tailgate

Outside McLeod Center, by the Granite Panther

Enjoy an outdoor meal, yard games, and an all-around great time as we kick off Panther Welcome!


Dinner is provided for all new students, including those without a meal plan. 

7:00 - 8:15PM

Kick Off

McLeod Center You will get your official Panther Welcome shirt and take the incoming class photo with all of your fellow Panthers! Start off your UNI career on a strong foundation. Hear from engaging keynote speaker James T. Robilotta and President Nook.
8:30 - 11:00PM

Panther Palooza

Wellness & Recreation Center (WRC) and Intramural & Sports Club Fields West of the WRC

Get ready for Intramurals with a night of pre-season flag football and kick ball or check out the baseball club or men's and women's rugby and soccer clubs as they welcome new members.


The WRC climbing wall, leisure pool, racquetball courts, fitness center, and basketball courts will be open for drop in use and multiple sport clubs, wellness and recreation related organizations will be on hand to discuss upcoming activities.


Crafts and other fun activities will be available too!


Hosted by Recreation Services

Thursday, August 17

Time Event Location Event Details
8:30 - 9:00AM

Cat Crew Meet Up

Cat Crew Meet Up Location Meet up with your group for the day. Your Cat Crew leader will share an overview of the day and get you hyped up!
9:00 - 11:45AM

Panther Rotations

Various locations around campus with your group

During these rotations you will be with your group to learn more about important resources and information. See rotation details below.


  • On Campus Job Fair: Learn about working on campus and what offices are hiring both now and in the future.


  • Panther Print: What makes you, you? Explore your Panther paw print and learn more about what makes your print unique.


  • Traditions: YOU can be a UNI traditions keeper! Move around campus to partake in various UNI traditions to begin completing the Traditions Challenge. 

Hosted by Student, Success & Retention, Career Services, Alumni Association, and Diversity, Inclusion & Social Justice

11:45 - 1:30PM

Organization Fair & Lunch

Maucker Union Rooftop, Courtyard & Coffeehouse

Enjoy your lunch while you head over to the Student Organization Fair. During the Student Organization Fair you will be able to learn what student organizations are available and how to join them. Make sure you complete your Panther FYI profile beforehand to have an idea of what organizations you may want to talk with at the Student Organization Fair. 


Lunch is provided for all new students, including those without a meal plan. 


Hosted by Student Success & Retention and Student Involvement

1:30 - 2:30PM

Transfer 101*

Schindler Education Center 220

As a Transfer student, you are not new to college, but you are new to UNI! Attend this crash course on all things UNI based on what previous transfer students wish they knew before classes started.


Hosted by Transfer Center/Transfer Advocacy & Involvement Group (TAIG)

1:30 - 4:30PM

Panther 101

Various Locations with your group

Organize your Google Calendar for the semester & learn how to access eLearning, your online course center.


Hosted by Undergraduate Studies

1:30 - 4:30PM

Panther To-Do List & Panther Time

Around Campus

There are some important things to get done around campus before classes begin. This time will be for you to complete the Panther To-Do list so you are ready to go! 

4:30 - 4:45PM

Cat Crew Meet Up

Cat Crew Meet Up Location Meet up with your group to head over to Panther Big Top. 
4:30 - 8:00PM

Panther Big Top

Bender Field Panthers of all ages, come play under the Panther Big Top! Come enjoy delectable delights at Rialto and as you feast on the carnival fare, wander into bingo to win prizes for your room or time on campus, try your hand at spin the wheel, pop-a-shot, or mini-putt for a chance at snacks and beverages for the late night movie. Under the Panther Big Top, you can challenge a friend to a jousting match or obstacle course, go on the ride of your life with a Mechanical Bull, or compete in lawn games like 9-square. After you've had your fill, find time to get an airbrush tattoo, visit the balloon artist, tie-dye a shirt all while taking your stuff-a-panther with you through it all. Come visit us under the Panther Big Top, where anything can happen.


Event is open to all new students. On-campus only activities include: stuff a panther and tie-dye.


Hosted by Housing and Dining

8:15 - 11:00PM

Movie on the Lawn

Lawther Field Wind down from the day with an outdoor movie night on the big screen on Lawther Field. New students who attend will receive a free UNI blanket!


Friday, August 18

Time Event Location Event Details
9:00 - 11:30AM

Panthers Give Back

Alumni Plaza (Space between Campanile and brick 'University of Northern Iowa' sign)

Join your fellow Panthers while you get to know more about the Cedar Valley and how you can make a difference. Students will have the option to choose from two service activities; one on campus and one off campus. Don't forget to grab a group of your new Panther friends to join you!


Hosted by the Volunteer Center of Cedar Valley and the UNI Office of Community Engagement

11:45AM - 1:00PM

Cat Crew Meet Up & Lunch

Cat Crew Meet Up Location


Eat lunch with your group based on the rotation schedule.


11:45AM - Noehren, Rider, Lawther & Transfer students


12:15PM - Bender, Dancer, Hagemann, Shull & off-campus first year students


Students living on-campus, will use student IDs for meals today. Off-campus students will use Panther Welcome wristbands.

1:30 - 3:30PM

You Belong @ Rod & Find Your Classes

Rod Library & around campus

Did you know that Rod Library has 4 floors of incredible resources? Don't let the "library" name fool you; there are more than just books and study spaces. Come explore and find out all about what we have to offer. Did we mention there will be prizes too?


Find where you will have your classes so you are ready to go for day one. All class buildings will be open for you to explore. There will be Northern Iowa Guides and Cat Crew around to help you find your way.


Hosted by Rod Library and Student Success & Retention

2:30 - 5:00PM

Taste of UNI

Lawther Field

New Panthers, celebrate your first #PantherFriday at Taste of UNI! Kickstart your weekend with FREE food samples from local food trucks, crafts, music, carnival games, a dunk tank & free safer sex supplies!


Hosted by Student Success & Retention, Student Wellness Services, Dean of Students, Office of Compliance and Equity Management, and Gender & Sexuality Services

5:00 & 5:30 PM

Cat Crew Meet Up & Dinner

Cat Crew Meet Up Location

Meet up with your group for dinner based on the rotation schedule.


5:00PM - Bender, Dancer, Hagemann, Shull & off-campus first year students


5:30PM - Noehren, Rider. Lawther & Transfer students


Students living on-campus, will use student IDs for meals today. Off-campus students will use Panther Welcome wristbands.

5:30 - 6:30PM

Transfer Student Group Dinner*

Meet at Gilchrist 102 Meet & connect with other transfer students. It's okay if you don't have a meal plan-- dinner is on us!
6:30 - 8:00PM

TAIG Game Night*

Schindler Education Center Lobby

Games, fun, PRIZES and learn about getting involved with Transfer Advocacy & Involvement Group (TAIG).


Hosted by Transfer Advocacy & Involvement Group (TAIG)

8:00  - 11:00PM

CAB After Dark

Maucker Union

A fun filled evening of events and food. This is a great way to meet other new students and current students as you listen to music, karaoke, learn to hip hop dance, craft, outdoor yard games, gaming, and more.

Hosted by Campus Activities Board (CAB)

* Events that are specifically designed for transfer students

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UNI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Student Success & Retention at at least one week prior to the event.