Students moving onto campus at URI.

You’ve been through that checklist time and time again. Cell phone, toothbrush, pillows, linens, clock, computer, printer, a few other supplies and, oh, clothes — so you’re all set. And you know exactly where you’re going on campus ’cause nothing’s likely changed. It’s only been a few months since you’ve been gone.

But wait! Whether you’re a freshman, junior, or grad student there are a few things you might not know about. We’ve been busy getting things ready to welcome you back for a great year ahead.

The basics all should know: There are about 3,100 freshmen this year (and despite what you may have heard, our first year students haven’t worn beanie caps since 1960) and a total of about 13,093 undergrads. The Graduate School welcomes its 2,731 students. And this year there will be many new opportunities for undergrads and grads to participate in some hands-on research with leading faculty.

There are also a few big changes.

If you’re one of the nearly 800 College of Pharmacy students, there’s a new address and a brand new, state-of-the-art building for your classes, labs, research, and more. Of course you’re invited to the ribbon-cutting ceremony on September 4 and  you’ll want to learn more about a great symposium on Drug Therapy in the 21st Century on September 14.

And since there’s a great deal more to health than drugs, you’ll want to catch the Fall Honors Colloquium “Health Care Change? Health, Politics, and Money” that will magnify the political, economic,and other issues shaping our health for today, and maybe tomorrow?

If you really want to do some research on healthcare – or anything else for that matter – check out the new Learning Commons at the Robert L. Carothers Library. The Commons has lots of comfy study space, small-group rooms, tons of technology, and even a video presentation room for practice. Join the Commons open house on September 13.

And your University continues to keep things green with the opening of our most energy efficient housing yet, Hillside Hall, the new 429-bed residence. It’s just one of the many reasons why the Princeton Review consistently names us one of the nation’s top Green Colleges.

Of course, to keep in touch with the rest of your family, you’ll want to invite them over to your place for the weekend, October 12-14. Family Weekend 2012 includes tons fun for all. And the events for you to enjoy all year, from “First Night” to commencement, are in the University calendar.

So make yourself at home. It’s a whole new beginning.