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Big Orange Welcome - Smokey cheering

Phase 3: Big Orange Welcome

Big Orange Welcome (BOW) is your opportunity to engage with the UT community on-campus. From August 14 through September 25, there will be required and optional events to attend, all designed to welcome and support you during your first semester on Rocky Top!

Big Orange Welcome is your on-campus and in-person orientation experience. We’re excited to share the schedule later this summer, and have some incredible opportunities planned!

If you need accommodations for any of our Big Orange Welcome events, please contact We’ll make sure you have what is needed to actively participate. 

Check out this sneak peak into some of the exciting events taking place for new students this August! The entire Big Orange Welcome schedule will be available in just a couple of weeks. Stay tuned!


Sunday, August 15

Rocky Top Rally (5:30-6:30 PM)

Are you ready to cheer on the Vols this year? Join Tennessee Athletics for this kickoff to your fan experience at the University of Tennessee!  Your Rocky Top Rally will feature the Pride of the Southland Band, Tennessee Spirit Squad, and guest appearances by coaches and staff.

New Vol Picnic (7-9 PM) – Required Event

Let’s kick of Big Orange Welcome the right way! Join us on HSS Plaza for the New Vol Picnic. You’ll have the opportunity to eat, make new connections, and meet key members of the UT community. Did we say eat?

Playfair (9:30-11 PM) – Required Event

Get ready for an evening filled with games, comedy routines, and dynamic team building activities with other new Vols like you! Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and get ready to get up, get moving, and make some new connections.

Monday, August 16

Torch Night (9-10 PM) – Required Event

“One that beareth a torch shadoweth oneself to give light to others.” As Volunteers, this is the creed we live by. During Torch Night, you’ll learn more about the role you plan in our community and what you can do to make and impact here at the University of Tennessee. We can’t wait for our new Vols to take part in this rich and longstanding tradition.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Any new Volunteer can attend BOW. While all new incoming students have required events they must attend, most of our events are open to all first-year students as well.

Big Orange Welcome is Phase 3 of your New Vol Experience. For new incoming students, there are required events. However, not all events are required.

There are many required events for both new first-year and transfer students. Please make it a priority to attend these events. Attendance will be taken at most events. If missed, we may reach out with additional requirements.

Of course! Please contact directly. We’ll work with the Office of Disability Student Services to ensure you have all of the accommodations needed. Do your best to contact us no later than 48 business hours before the event.

The $240 fee covers ALL phases of the New Vol Experience, including all sessions, food, and giveaways during Big Orange Welcome.

Absolutely! You can do both. Plus a majority of the optional programs over the first 6-weeks as well! You can find Ignite registration HERE.

Yes! There are required events for both, but our offices work closely together to build a coordinated schedule to make sure you can experience both programs! Check out the Office of Sorority & Fraternity Life for more details.