CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials with West Texas A&M University announced that students are set to return to the classroom on Jan. 17 for the spring semester.

“We are so excited for the start of this new semester and having the campus bustle again with activity,” said Chris Thomas, the university’s vice president for student affairs. “We are committed to making our new and returning students feel welcome however possible, and each of these programs exhibits true Buff spirit.”

WT faculty and staff, officials detailed, will welcome students for the semester with the greeter program. The program consists of volunteers who work 30-minute shifts from 6:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Jan. 17 and 18, helping students feel comfortable and welcome at WT.

“Whether you’re a new or returning student, the beginning of the semester can be a challenging but exciting time,” said Chance Haugen, assistant vice president for campus community and engagement. “We want to make sure that students have a strong start to the semester and they know that we are here to help them in their journey. The campus greeter program is our way of getting in front of the students and being there to answer any questions that they might have.”

Although the campus is closed on Jan. 16 in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, officials noted that faculty and staff will continue to provide joy to students in need by leaving hand-knitting scarves and caps that read, “I’m not lost. If you’re cold, take me with you,” around the Charles K. and Barbara Kerr Vaughan Pedestrian Mall and Old Main.

“Several of us knit and crochet a lot,” said Jean Stuntz, retired Regents Professor of History. “We knew there were students who need a little extra during the winter. We thought it was something we could easily do there.”

In addition, WT Alumni Association organized a holiday food drive to assist food-insecure students as part of the Giving Relief and Customized Experiences (GRAZE) program through the WT Catholic Student Center. Officials detailed that nonperishable and donated food can be purchased through a registry on Amazon.

“WT Alumni have a giving heart, and this was an opportunity to directly impact our current student body who might be struggling to make ends meet,” Hall said. “GRAZE would love to have more people make consistent donations, and I hope this drive will inspire that so we can continue helping students in need.”

Students will also have the chance to win necessities for the classroom through Supplies Bingo game night beginning at 7 p.m. on Jan. 18 in Legacy Hall inside the Jack B. Kelley Student Center.