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: Lunch for New Students & Families, Commons Cafe

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

2:00 pm - 2:45 pm: Commuter Student Check-In, Rossin Campus Center Information Desk 

3:00 pm: (Residential Students) Meet Your Community, Student Residence Hall Common Areas

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.

3:00 pm - 3:45 pm: Parenting for Student Success: A Conversation with President & Mrs. Knapp*, Olin Fine Arts Center Theatre

President John Knapp and Mrs. Knapp facilitate an inspiring conversation that prepares students and their families for the students’ transition to the college experience.

3:45 p. - 4:30 pm: Family Reception - Hosted by Enrollment & Student Life*, Old Main

Families are invited to a reception to welcome them to the W&J community. Hosted by the Divisions of Enrollment and Student Life.

4:30 pm - 4:45 pm: Farewell to Families*, The Tent on Olin Lawn

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 - 6:30 pm: Block Party Hosted by President and Mrs. Knapp, E. Wheeling Street

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) Roommates, Room Condition Reports, and Rules of the Road, Residence Hall Common Areas (see your RA to know where your floor will meet)

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

6:30 pm: (Commuter Students) Meet the Commuter Student Association, Commuter Lounge

Make your own ice cream sundae and learn more about campus resources, the Commuter Student Association, and how to have an amazing commuter experience.

8:00 pm: With GRIT, presented by Saul Flores, Olin Fine Arts Center Theatre

Saul Flores (pronounced sah–ool), is a philanthropist, photojournalist, and speaker who is nationally recognized for his social impact projects. Through his most recent project, Saul documents the amazing lives of thousands of Latin American immigrants to fundraise for an elementary school in his mother’s hometown.

His work has been featured on National Public Radio, MSNBC, and TEDX. Additionally, Saul has been featured as a keynote speaker for dozens of universities, inspiring audiences through his visual presentations, in which he helps people realize the capacity of their immense human potential given times of extreme adversity.

9:00 pm: LINK Group Meet & Greet, Olin Fine Arts Center Theatre

Meet your LINK group. Snacks will be provided!

9:00 am: Breakfast Basket with LINK Groups, The Tent on Olin Lawn

9:30 - 12:00 pm: Your Success: Founded Here - A Race, The Tent on Olin Lawn

An “Amazing Race”-style event, where your LINK group will follow a trail of clues and race to the finish for a grand prize. Along the way, you will learn more about W&J and its unique history.

12:00 pm: Lunch, Commons Cafe

1:30 pm - 3:15 pm: Community: Founded here, The Tent on Olin Lawn

Connect with and compete against others in your Residence Hall.

3:30 pm: W&J Community Values, 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.

4:30 pm - Debrief with your LINK group, Location determined by your LINK

5:00 pm: Dinner, Commons Cafe

7:00 pm: Affinity-Based Receptions, Burnett

An opportunity to connect with peers and others from the College around shared interest and identity.

Locations as follows: 

  • Temple Medical Scholars (Burnett 015)
  • First in family students (Burnett 016)
  • Students from Diverse Backgrounds (Burnett 209) 
    • This social is intended to connect students who identify as Black, African-American, Asian, South Asian, Indigenous, Middle Eastern, Pacific Islander, Latinx, Chicanx, Native American, and multiracial.
  • High School Leadership and Service (Burnett 213)
  • Hometown more than 250 miles away (Burnett 303)
  • Modern Languages (Burnett 203)
    • The mission of the Department of Modern Languages is to impart to all W&J students the skills, knowledge, and qualities necessary to communicate and interact in culturally appropriate ways with speakers of languages other than their own. We offer 5 languages of study: Chinese; French; German; Russian; and Spanish. 
  • Environmental Education and Experience (Burnett 003)
  • Visual and Performing Arts (Burnett 109)
  • LGBTQ(Burnett 309)
  • Social Justice (Burnett 311)

8:30 pm - Hidden Talents, Tech Center Amphitheater

W&J upperclass students welcome you to show off your Hidden Talents! This event was a campus favorite last year.

8:00 am – Breakfast, Commons Café

10:00 am – SSC activity (Scholars Session),  The Tent on Olin Lawn

Meet your Student Success Consultant and participate in your first SCHOLARS SESSION. These sessions will help you build the personal and professional skills you need to navigate your first year successfully.

11:00 am to 12:00 pm - Academic Department Receptions, by Building

Meet members of the faculty and learn more about W&J's range of academic programs. Programs will host 2 sessions, between 11:00 to 11:30 and 11:30 to noon. You are welcome to explore multiple receptions!

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

12:00 pm – Lunch, Commons Café

1:30 pm - First Year Seminar Class Meetings, Various Locations

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.







Pushing to Limit...& Beyond




Beyond Grimm




Protest and Social Change








Children's Treatre/Creative Dr


OLIN 115


Race in Amer History




Religion and the Unexplained




Practical, Positive Psychology








College Is Fun Science Is Too




Japanimation for Science Major




Charting Personal Journey of D




Amer As Apple Pie




Chinese/Japanese Cinema




The 20S: Then and Now




Monster Culture




Intersectionality of Women




Slava Ukraini








The Choice Is Mine?




Just a Game




Pop! Goes the Environment



2:30 pm to 3:30 pm - FYS Advising sessions, Locations Determined by FYS Professors  

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

2:30 pm to 3:30 pm - Advanced Language Placement Sessions, (By Invitation) Burnett Center Second Floor

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 – Workshopping on Preparedness, Various Locations

Your LINK will work with you to determine who in your group will attend each session.

  1. Communication, Olin Fine Arts Center Theatre
  2. College-level Work, Burnett Center Yost Auditorium
  3. Goalsetting, Rossin Campus Center Ballroom
  4. W&J Academic Culture, Dieter-Porter 100

5:00 pm – Dinner, Commons Café

5:00 pm – 5:45 pm – Washington Fellows Reception, Rossin Ballroom

6:00 pm - (Student Athletes) Meeting with First-Year Student Athletes, Olin Theatre

Dean of Students Eva Chatterjee-Sutton and Director of Athletics Scott McGuinness will host first-year student athletes for a discussion. 

7:00 pm – LINK Group Meeting, Location Determined by your LINK

7:30 pm to 8:30 pm - New Student Connection Event, The Tent on Olin Lawn

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

8:30 pm - Ice Cream Cool Down, Tech Center Amphitheater

Enjoy some ice cream novelties and cool down after the Connection Event.

9:00 am - Breakfast (optional), Commons Café   

9:45 am - LINK Group Meeting, Location Determined by the LINK

11:15 am to 12:00 pm - Creating Connections – Hosted by the SSCs, Olin Fine Arts Center Theatre 

Build connections with other new students and your Student Success Consultants.

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm - Lunch, The Tent on Olin Lawn

Please note that this lunch will be in the tent and not the Commons Café.

1:00 pm to 3:00 pm - Breakout Experiences, Various Locations

You will select 2 events to attend with your LINK group earlier that day and then report back to your group on what you have learned!

  1. Intramurals & Fitness, Ross Recreation Center, Presented by Scott McGuinness, Director of Athletics
  2. Thriving at W&J, Media Room, Presented by Dr. Shelly Lear, Director of Student Health Counseling & Damarion Geter, Staff Counselor
  3. Developing School/Life Balance, Rossin Ballroom, Presented by Janice Quinto, Student Success Consultant
  4. Decoding Instructors’ Instructions, Burnett 114 (Yost Auditorium), Presented by Pax Gutierrez, Ph.D., Writing Center Director & PAL Tutoring Coordinator 

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm – LINK Group Meeting, Location Determined by the LINK

5:30 pm to 7:00 pm – Tailgate Dinner, Ross Memorial Park

Join the RA team for a tailgate dinner on the College baseball field. Enjoy tailgate games and a friendly kickball game, then walk over next door to the Wild Things game.

7:00 pm – Washington Wild Things Baseball Game, Wild Things Park (One Washington Federal Way, Washington)

Enjoy a fun evening of baseball, giveaways, and activities at with Washington’s own Frontier League Team, the Wild Things!

*Please note that the dining schedule is different for Sunday due to the off-campus experience and there will be a brunch instead of separate breakfast and lunch events.

Wear your orientation t-shirt today!

10:00 am – Brunch, The Tent on Olin Lawn

11:30 am – Load Buses and Depart for Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, E. Wheeling Street

12:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

Snacks and beverages will be available throughout the event at the Pavilion. Students can freely explore the zoo. Buses load at 3:00 pm for return to campus.

5:00 pm – 6:30 pm Dinner, Commons Café

6:30 pm – Orientation Vacation, Rec Center and Henry Lawns, Henry Pool

Take a final vacation before the school year starts and enjoy some of the best destinations this side of Washington, PA! Destinations include:

  • Presidents State Park with a rock wall, campfires, s’mores, mountain pies, dirt desserts, a camper photo booth, and a drive-in movie featuring throwback blockbuster ‘Jumanji’ (the show starts when the sun sets!) on the Rec Center Lawn
  • The Dubjay Beach Boardwalk with game booths, boardwalk food, axe throwing, giant beach ball volleyball and more on the Henry Lawn
  • Pete Henry’s Pool party with pool games and inflatables in the Henry Natatorium

The event will move to the Ross Family Recreation Center if it rains.

8:00 am – Breakfast (optional), Commons Café  

10:30 am to 12:00 pm – Thriving Together, Presented by Mark Weir, The Tent on Olin Lawn

Presenter Mark Weir helps will discuss how to create a healthy community and how to become your best self in College.

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm – Conversations Lunch, The Tent on Olin Lawn

Learn more about your peers during this interactive lunch experience.

1:00 pm to 3:00 pm – How About This Party? Olin Fine Arts Center Theatre 

An Interactive Theater performance addressing sexual assault and the use/abuse of alcohol in campus settings.

3:00 pm to 4:30 pm - Community Fair, The Tent on Olin Lawn

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 to 6:30 pm – Dinner, Commons Café

5:00 pm to 6:15 pm - Commuter Reception, Media Room (Commons Lower Level)

Commuter students are invited to a special reception with College staff.

6:30 pm to 7:00 pm - LINK Group Meetings, Location Determined by your LINK

7:00 pm to 9:30 pm – Casino Night, Rossin Campus Center Ballroom

Enjoy W&J’s own casino experience. Try your luck at a variety of different table games and slot machines! All games are completely free, and you may place your bets with fake money. Each game you play gets you raffle tickets to enter several different prize drawings. The more you win, the more tickets you get!

10:00 pm - Late Nite Breakfast, Commons Café

A W&J tradition every Finals Week! Come and enjoy a Late Nite Breakfast served by College staff and Faculty. The First 50 students in the door get a free Late Nite Breakfast T-Shirt!

8:00 am - Breakfast (optional), Commons Café

9:00 am to 12:00 pm – International Student Orientation, Clark Family Library Classroom

International Students Only--Please bring your passport!

10:00 am – First Day of Class Preview, Location Determined by your LINK

Meet with your LINK and do final preparations for your first day of College courses.

12:00 pm - Lunch, Commons Café

2:30 pm – Return to Your Building to Get Ready for Matriculation (Business Casual Attire), Your Residence Hall 

Please dress in business casual attire for the Matriculation Ceremony.

3:15 pm - Class Photo, Old Main Lawn

In preparation for 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 to 4:30 pm - Matriculation Ceremony, Ross Recreation Center

*Business Casual Attire*

The Matriculation Ceremony, which is the first of many traditions 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 to 5:00 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 pm to 7:30 pm – Rockin’ the Lawn hosted by President & Mrs. Knapp, Tech Center Amphitheater

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