Spring semester begins this Tuesday (January 16) on the UM campus. Spring?

Well, yeah, the word gets played with kind of fast and loose around here in the dead of winter. But there is still much reason to celebrate, as University of Montana students and community members are invited to Welcome Back Winter events on campus and elsewhere this coming week.

UM News Service tells us that numerous winter events can be shared among students and the general public, designed to "highlight the unique sense of place western Montana provides during deep winter."

UM’s welcoming winter vibe includes an on-campus ice rink, open to community use, and  plenty of cross-country skiing available on the UM Golf Course. And it goes beyond that with a mission to get students to get out and engage with the people and amenities that Missoula and the University of Montana have to offer.

With that in mind, here are some of the events going on in which the campus and the community can come together to partake:

Tuesday, January 17 -   From 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on the UM Oval, the Griz Hockey team will host a community skating event on the University’s ice-skating rink. If you don't already know how, hockey players and cheerleaders will help attendees learn to skate. Hot chocolate will be available, and the fire pits will be lit. And if you don't have your own, a limited supply of ice skates will be available to rent in the University Center Gaming Den. The event is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, January 18 - From 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., new and returning students are invited to a Griz Winter Welcome on the Oval. Games, ice skating, fire pits and s’mores. Plus, the grand opening of a new campus dining area in the University Center, Monte’s Den, will be from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Thursday, January 19 - 5:00 to 7:00 p.m,. join the UM Alumni Association at Draughtworks for a Griz on Tap event, hosted by the UM Forestry Club.

Friday, January 20 -  5:00 to 6;00 p.m., the UM Bookstore will host a Welcome Back UM Shop Night with store discounts and raffle prizes.

Friday, January 20 - From 6 to 7:30 p.m. a bonfire and Griz pep-rally on UM’s River Bowl, featuring fireworks. The pep rally coincides with the Griz Hockey team taking on Providence at the Glacier Ice Rink at 8:00 and Brawl of the Wild basketball Saturday, with the Lady Griz and Montana State playing at 2:00 and the UM/MSU men's teams at 7:00.

Check out more Welcome Winter details and events here.

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