Panther Prowl: Welcoming new students to Davenport University

In 2007, Davenport University kicked off it’s first-ever Panther Prowl welcome event. Since then, Panther Prowl has been changing the lives of students across the university.

The tradition continues to create an inclusive environment for incoming students while also developing student leaders, who run the event and work to positively impact our campus. These student leaders strive to create an event that helps incoming students become comfortable and make new friends at Davenport, from the moment they step on campus.

What happens at Panther Prowl?

Panther Prowl allows students to build genuine connections and to feel supported at Davenport, even before their classes start. As students enter our doors to register for housing, they are welcomed by Panther Prowl pack leaders. Students are separated into packs based on a chosen theme, which could be anything from an airplane to a kangaroo to Iron Man.

Over the course of three days, students meet with their pack for team bonding and discussions about life at college. In between these pack meetings, there are entertainment acts like hypnotists, magicians and dynamic drum duos. The goal is to get students engaged, make them comfortable being vulnerable and help them recognize that they are not alone.

What does Panther Prowl mean to students?

“To me, Prowl means starting the year off by making new friends. It means having fun while making connections with people that will have your back throughout your years in college.” – Karlee Hallberg, Class of 2022

For incoming students, college can be scary. They’re now independent and, sometimes, miles away from family and friends. Being a part of Panther Prowl means meeting new people who are going through the same experiences. It is a way to build friendships that will last a lifetime, meet mentors who care about your experience as a Panther and those who’ll make you feel like Davenport is home.

“To me, Panther Prowl was a way to get involved on campus. Coming to college was the first time I had been far away from my family and, with that, came nerves. Prowl helped me calm those nerves by introducing me to potential friends and helpful resources! Prowl is an amazing way to start this new chapter of my life.” – Trevor Luznak, Class of 2022

What does Panther Prowl mean to Pack Leaders?

“Prowl for the leaders resembles a lot of what it means for the packlettes, especially embracing togetherness and change. Each year, we have a new group of leaders that get to know each other over the course of two weeks. We love to play a role in the creation of new friendships and easing the nerves of freshmen.” – Sam Katon, Class of 2018 & 2020

Each year, pack leaders are chosen through an interview process. This diverse group of students has a passion for helping others and continuing the Panther Prowl tradition. No pack leader is the same and none of them have the same experience. However, all of them are incredible leaders who change the culture of Davenport University in building up its community. Their goal is to stand alongside incoming students and make sure they have what they need to succeed going into their first semester.

Pack leaders also have the opportunity to develop their personal leadership skills. They go through rigorous training prior to the event and are held to a high standard of leading by example. They learn about diversity, inclusion, facilitation, debriefing and all on-campus resources that our university has to offer – they gain important skills that will help make them successful in the future.

“Prowl for pack leaders is being able to push yourself out of your comfort zone to lead. Pack leaders learn just as much about themselves as all of the incoming freshmen do. It’s amazing to watch the freshman make new friends and get pumped up about their first year at DU.” – Dayle Braden, Class of 2020

Panther Prowl creates the Davenport culture. Panther Prowl creates the Davenport family. Panther Prowl creates the Davenport community.


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