Forge your Foundation

Orientation is designed to aid you in your transition, integrate you into the life of the W&J community, and introduce you to the broad opportunities available at W&J.

During Orientation, you will be introduced to academic expectations, the diversity of the college, and the importance of community as a whole, both within W&J and beyond campus. More specifically, you will have opportunities to connect with faculty members, learn more about resources and services on campus, hear about community roles and traditions from upper-class students, and establish relationships with your peers in your new home.

At Orientation you will also meet your faculty advisor (FYS instructor), your Student Success Consultant and your LINK, an upper-class peer mentor, all of whom are committed to facilitating your positive transition to life as a W&J student. Below is the full schedule for Orientation.

To help you navigate campus during Orientation, please view our interactive campus map.

Student Schedule of Events

9:00 am - 1:00 pm: Move-in and Check-in for New Students, Rossin Campus Center Ballroom

Arrive and unload at your residence hall and then check-in in the Rossin Campus Center Ballroom.

11:00 am - 1:00 pm: Complimentary Lunch for Families, Commons Cafe

Lunch tickets will be provided at check-in in the Ballroom.

3:00 pm: (Residential Students) Meet Your Community - Hosted by your RA, Your Residence Hall

Meet your residence hall community and complete your room condition report. 

3:00 pm: (Commuter Students) Commuter Student Meet & Greet, Commuter Lounge (Cooper Hall, Lincoln St. Side)

Meet other commuter students and learn more about the W&J community.

4:30 pm: Farewell to Families*, Amphitheater

Take a moment to say farewell to your family and begin your orientation experience. *All events going from this point forward are for students only.

4:45 pm: Block Party Hosted by President John Knapp and Kelly Knapp, Burnett Center Lawn

President John Knapp and Kelly Knapp welcome you to the block! Food and festivities will be provided to celebrate your joining of the W&J community.

6:30 pm: (Residential Students) Hall Activities, Your Residence Hall

Your building's RA team will help you get to know your community and make some new friends!

8:00 pm: Orientation Kick-off & Meet your LINK, Olin Fine Arts Center Theatre

Host Michael Dean Ester will welcome you to Orientation and introduce you to your LINK mentor.

9:00 pm: LINK Group Meet & Greet, Location Determined by your LINK

Meet your LINK group. Snacks will be provided!

*** Be sure to wear to Orientation T-Shirt Today! ***

8:00 am: Breakfast, Commons Cafe

9:30 am: LINK group Meetings, Location Determined by your LINK

10:00 am: W&J Community Values: Uncommon Integrity & Ethical Leadership, A Conversation with President Knapp, Olin Fine Arts Center Theatre

President John Knapp will discuss W&J's core values of uncommon integrity and ethical leadership and explain what you can expect during your journey as a W&J student.

11:15 am: Creating Connections, Olin Tent & Amphitheatre (Follow your LINK)

Meet your Student Success Consultant and build connections with other new students.

12:00 pm: Lunch, Commons Cafe

1:00 pm: Break Out Panels, Various Locations

Your LINK will inform you of which panel session to attend. Your group will then discuss the sessions collectively at your LINK group meeting. 

  • Finding Yourself & Your People, Rossin Ballroom
  • School & Life Balance, Media Room
  • Academic Exploration, Yost
  • Living Independently, Ski Lodge

2:00 pm: Sex Signals, Olin Theatre

Sex Signals by Catharsis Productions will be on campus to take you on an interactive, relevant, and hilarious exploration all about gender, consent, and relationships. 

3:30 pm: Wellness Fair, Olin Tent

Learn all about how to be healthy and well during your journey as a W&J student.

5:00 pm: (Residential Students) Dinner, Commons Cafe

5:00 pm: (Commuter Students) Commuter Dinner, Rossin Campus Center Ballroom

Commuter students are invited to a dinner hosted by the Commuter Student Association (CSA) where you will learn more about resources, the CSA, and how to have an amazing commuter experience. 

6:30 pm: LINK Group Meetings, Location Determined by your LINK

7:30 pm: New Student Connections, Olin Tent

An orientation tradition at W&J - connect with your peers at this high-energy event!

9:00 pm: The Inside Scoop @ W&J Hosted by Upperclass RAs, Amphitheatre

Upperclass RAs will instruct you on the "inside scoop" of being a W&J student in this fun and entertaining program and, for good measure, there will be ice cream treats provided!

8:00 am: Breakfast, Commons Cafe

9:00 am: LINK Meeting, Location Determined by your LINK

9:30 am: Thriving Together: Building an Inclusive Community, Olin Tent

Learn how to begin to build and support an inclusive and welcoming student community during your time at W&J. 

11:00 am: Academic Department Receptions, Various Locations

Meet members of the faculty and learn more about W&J's range of academic programs. 

  • Burnett Center (Lobbies on Ground, First & Second Floors): Business, Communication Arts, Conflict & Resolution Studies, Econ, Education, Entrepreneurial Studies, Modern Languages
  • Davis Hall (Exterior): English, Gender & Women's Studies
  • Dieter-Porter (Exterior): Biology, Neuroscience, Psychology
  • Old Main Lobby: Public Policy, Philosophy, Math, History 
  • Olin Fine Arts Center Lobby: Communication Arts: Theater, Music
  • Swanson Science Center: Chemistry, Environmental Studies
  • Tech Center: Computing & Information Studies, Gender & Women's Studies

12:00 pm: (Lunch) A Taste of PA - Hosted by Student Life, Olin Tent

The student life staff invite you to join them for a lunch featuring regional and local foods!

1:00 pm: First Year Seminar (FYS) First Class Meetings, FYS Classrooms (as indicated by your FYS instructor)

Your first official college class! Your First Year Seminar (FYS) instructor will introduce themselves and discuss what you can expect in your first semester. Your course will meet at the location on your course schedule unless otherwise indicated by your instructor. Please check your W&J email for messaging from your instructor. 

2:00 pm: Advising Sessions, location determined by your FYS instructor

Your FYS instructor will answer any questions or concerns that you have about your course schedule during this time. 

2:00 pm: Advanced Language Placement Conversations, By Invitation

For those students who have placed into an advanced modern language section, the faculty invite you to a conversation. You will receive a direct invite. If you have any questions, please contact your LINK mentor.

3:00 pm: W&J Community Fair, Old Main Walkway/McMillan Quad

Members of the W&J and local communities will welcome you to campus with some fun giveaways and explain what they can do to support you during your time at W&J!

5:00 pm: Involvement Dinner (Hosted by Student Government Association), Olin Tent

The Student Government Association (SGA) invites you to a dinner where you will learn all about SGA, campus clubs/organizations, and opportunities available to you as a student.

6:00 pm: LINK Meeting, Location Determined by your LINK

7:00 pm: Welcome Back Festival!, Rossin Campus Center Patio

All members of the W&J community are invited! Come enjoy festival snacks such as funnel cakes and enjoy a variety of fun activities. There will even be a petting zoo, because why not?

10:00 pm: Late Nite Breakfast, Commons Cafe

A W&J tradition, Late Nite Breakfast occurs each year during orientation and during finals week both semesters. It is one of the most popular events that the College hosts. Gear-up attendees - be sure to wear your t-shirt!

9:00 am: Breakfast, Commons Cafe

10:00 am: Breakout Activities, Various Locations

  • Yoga on the Lawn with Jill Samson, Olin Tent
  • Shopping Shuttle (to Walmart, Target and other local retailers), Campus Center Circle
  • Optional campus tours, Led by Your LINK

10:00 am: Washington Fellows Scavenger Hunt (Washington Fellows Only), Meet on Rossin Patio

Washington Fellows are invited to participate in a scavenger hunt. Meet upperclass members of the organization and learn a bit more about the program!

12:00 pm: Lunch, Commons Cafe

3:15 pm: Class Photo, Outside Old Main

In preparation Matriculation, all members of your entering class will gather for a class photo. 

3:30 pm: Line Up for Matriculation, Old Main

Line up for the processional into the Matriculation Ceremony

4:00 pm: Matriculation Ceremony, Ross Recreation Center

The Matriculation Ceremony, which is the first of many traditions in which you will experience as a W&J student. This tradition connects you with all the classes of students who have come before as you walk across the W&J seal. As a class, you will proudly walk across the seal once again at Commencement, which marks the completion of your journey as a W&J student.

4:30 pm: Crossing of the Seal, Old Main Lobby

All new students at W&J take part in crossing the College Seal in Old Main after the Matriculation Ceremony. You will cross it once more at Commencement. This moment formally marks the beginning and end of your journey as a W&J student.

6:00 - 7:30 pm: Rockin' the Lawn, Olin Tent/Amphitheatre 

Celebrate the beginning of the new school year with the whole student body! Hosted by President John Knapp and Kelly Knapp.