Bethsabe O’Reilly arrived on campus early, needing to get a new student ID card made before her first class at Missouri Southern.

The senior business-HR major parked her car in the main lot and prepared to make the walk to Billingsly Student Center when a golf cart pulled up alongside, the driver offering a “Lion Lyft” to her destination.

“Oh, that’s awesome,” O’Reilly said of her first reaction, which was then followed by a bit of a double- take. “I thought I recognized the driver.”

Dr. Alan Marble, president of Missouri Southern, was among the Lion Lyft drivers on hand to help welcome students back to campus for the start of the Spring 2020 semester. Around campus, other members of the Lion Welcome Crew donned yellow vests to help answer questions and get students where they needed to go.

“This is the second spring and fourth semester we’ve had the Lion Welcome Crew,” said Dr. Julie Wengert, Missouri Southern’s dean of student success and support, who coordinated the effort. “We have about seven locations across campus (for volunteers) and the entrances from the bigger parking lots to capture where students are coming in.”

A total of 25 volunteers, including faculty and staff members, took part in this year’s welcome event.

“We also provide free hot chocolate and coffee (on the Oval) until we run out,” said Wengert. “We probably went through 30 gallons of hot chocolate last year, although it was a bit colder than it is now.”