Orientation Schedule

Students in green for convocation

Fall Orientation 2017 starts on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 for students attending international pre-orientation and AccessAbility pre-orientation, and starts on Friday, September 1, 2017 for all new students.

Students wanting to attend AccessAbility pre-orientation must be registered with AccessAbility Services by Friday, June 30th and will receive more information at that time, to register. We also encourage international students who will be arriving to Mount Holyoke with their parents, families and or guests to let us know by filling out this form.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

International Students and AccessAbility Students Arrive

Welcome Center
Opens at 10:00am
Blanchard Campus Center
Welcoming all students, families and guests to pre-orientation! Join us for coffee, tea, water or a quick snack.

International Pre-Orientation

Arrival and Check-in for International Students (mandatory)
All day; opens at 10am         
Blanchard 227
Orientation Leaders and the International Student Organizing Committee (ISOC) will meet international students arriving at Bradley International Airport. All other new international students should check in at Blanchard 227 where you will pick up your keys, receive your orientation materials and much more! Students and guests should get lunch on their own.

Campus Tours
2:00 – 5:00pm
Leave from Blanchard 227
ISOC members and Orientation Leaders will take groups of new international students on tours of campus. Learn more about where things happen at Mount Holyoke. Sign up for a tour in Blanchard 227.                          

Dessert Buffet and Social  
7:30 – 9:00pm                       
Blanchard Great Room
Stop by for great desserts, music, and conversation with new and returning students.

Programming in Residence Halls
Various residence halls
Join other newly arrived students for a fun and relaxing evening!

AccessAbility Pre-Orientation

Arrival and Check-in for AccessAbility Students (mandatory)
10:00am – 3:00pm  
Blanchard 227
Orientation Leaders and AccessAbility Services staff will greet students arriving. All students should check in at Blanchard 227 where you will pick up your keys, receive your orientation materials and much more! Students and guests should get lunch on their own.

3:00 – 3:45pm
Blanchard Great Room
Join the staff and peer mentors of the AccessAbility Office as they welcome students and their families and guests to Mount Holyoke.

Programming in Residence
Various residence halls
Join other newly arrived students for a fun and relaxing evening!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

International Pre-Orientation

Breakfast in Ham Hall, MacGregor Hall, or Prospect     
7:00 – 9:00am                

Concurrent Sessions for students (mandatory)
9:00am – 3:00pm, with a break for lunch from Noon – 1:00pm
Meet your assigned group at 8:45am in front of Blanchard Campus Center.
New international students will be divided into six groups and rotate between the six sessions listed below.  

Session 1: Mandatory TB Test                        
Health Center
All incoming international students must complete the Tuberculosis screening at the Health Center.

Session 2: Student Financial Services Session                
Dwight 101
Representatives from Student Financial Services will explain financial aid and the regulations concerning Global Loans. Students will fill out required paperwork.  If you do not have need-based financial aid and do not have a Global Loan, you have some free time to engage with your group leaders.

Session 3: Introducing the Honor Code at Mount Holyoke             
Gamble Auditorium A
Donna Van Handle, dean of international students and member of the Academic Honor Board, and Rachel Alldis, Assistant Dean of Students, Director of Residential Life and advisor to the Student Honor Code Council present an introduction to the Honor Code and explain its importance through role plays featuring current international students. This session will prepare students for the Honor Code pledge and signing of the Honor Code book during orientation.

Session 4: Transitions Abroad FAQ                         
Hooker Auditorium
Members of the International Student Organizing Committee (ISOC) and Orientation Leaders will answer your most pressing questions and facilitate a discussion of life at MHC and in the U.S.

Session 5: U.S. Culture & Customs    
Jenkins Auditorium
Amy E. Markham and Annie Sullivan from the Admission Office, along with staff from the Division of Student Life, host a workshop to help smooth the transition into social life and customs in the US. This session covers the differences between U.S. and other cultures with regard to small talk, values, friendship, and invitations. This will be a fun and interactive session to decode social norms of American peers.

Session 6: Foreign National Information System (FNIS) 
Kendade Computer Lab or 619 Williston Library
Rob Roll, Sue O’Neill, both from Financial Services, and Jenny Medina will guide you through a computer program so that each of you can enter the various visa statuses you have had when in the U.S.  All new international students must attend.  Bring your current and previous passports, and original travel documents (I-20 or DS-2019). The process will go much faster if you bring a listing of all of your visa statuses, and of all the dates that you entered and exited the United States while in each status.  

Dinner in Ham Hall, MacGregor Hall, or Prospect Hall
5:00 – 6:00pm                    

Shopping Trip to Hampshire Mall
6:30 – 9:00pm                        
Mary Woolley Circle
Take this opportunity to purchase bed linen, pillows, and those odds and ends that did not fit into your suitcase.  Students will be in their assigned groups for the shopping trip.  Meet your group at 5:45pm at Mary Woolley Circle.

Programming in the Community Center
Blanchard Great Room
Join other newly arrived students for a fun and relaxing evening!

International Pre-Orientation for Parents and Guests

Campus Tours for International Parents and Guests
1:00 – 2:00pm
Meet outside Blanchard Community Center

Information Session for International Parents and Guests
2:00 – 3:15pm
Blanchard Community Center, Great Room
We invite parents and guests of international students to join staff and faculty for an introduction to the academic and social life at Mount Holyoke College.

Reception for International Parents and Guests
3:15pm – 4pm
Blanchard Community Center, Great Room
Join Mount Holyoke’s Acting President Sonya Stephens for words of welcome, and to meet additional MHC faculty and staff.

AccessAbility Pre-Orientation

9:00 – 9:30am
Blanchard Great Room

Accessing Accommodations and Services (for students, families and guests)
9:30 – 11:00am
Blanchard Great Room
Review Accommodation Letters. Learn the differences between accommodations in high school and college, specific accommodations and services available at Mount Holyoke, and policies and procedures students must follow in order to receive disability supports.

Dollars and Sense (for families and guests)
11:00 – 11:45am
Blanchard Great Room
Information about tuition, course credits, refund policy, financial aid, and the opportunity to have your questions answered.

Peer Mentor Introductions (for students)
11:00 – 11:45am
Wilder Common Room
New students, get to know your peer mentor and mentor groups!

11:45am – 1:30pm
Students are encouraged to lunch with their peer mentors; or join their guests for lunch off campus. Ham-MacGregor Hall and Prospect Hall are open for lunch.

Parent and Families Session (for families and guests)
1:30 – 3:00pm
Kendade 305
Presentation for parents on ways to support your student’s transition to college and managing well-being as a college student.

Self-Advocacy Boot Camp (for students)
1:30 – 3:00pm
Kendade 302
Focus on learning and practicing tools for improving communication with professors, peers, parents and others.

Closing Session (for students, families and guests)
3:00 – 3:30pm
Kendade 305
Join AccessAbility Services staff for this closing session, to answer questions, review the day, and more.

Optional 1:1 Questions (for families and guests)
Kendade 305
Opportunity for those parents and families who may have individualized, personal questions for the AccessAbility Services staff to have brief, private conversations.

Scavenger Hunt (for students)
Meet peer mentors outside of Kendade 305
Physically locate key resources and departments on campus that will support your transition to campus and select accommodations too, as well as campus landmarks.

Programming in the Community Center
Blanchard Great Room
Join other newly arrived students for a fun and relaxing evening!


Friday, September 1, 2017

International Pre-Orientation

Breakfast in Ham-MacGregor or Prospect Hall
7:00 – 9:00am                

Navigating Health Services & the Counseling Service at MHC as an International Student (mandatory)
9:00 – 10:00am
Gamble Auditorium
Join Karen Engell, the Executive Director of College Health Services, and Beth Feeney, Ph.D., Director of Counseling Service, to learn more about the resources and services provided to students by these two areas.

All New Students

Welcome Tent and Family Resource Fair
8:00am – Noon
Woolley Circle
Room keys, Orientation schedules, breakfast, and a resource fair for new students and families.

Check-In and Welcome for Frances Perkins Scholars
10:30 – 11:30am
Dickinson Hall living room
Gather as a group before the President's welcome to learn about Orientation programming. Upperclass FPs will be on hand to answer questions, connect new and returning students, and help you make plans that pique your interest and needs for the rest of Orientation.

President’s Welcome
11:30am – Noon
Chapin Auditorium, Mary Woolley Hall
Words of welcome from Acting President Sonya Stephens.

Opening Day BBQ for New Students and Families
Noon – 1:30pm
Skinner Green
Rain location: Dining halls

Library, Information, and Technology Services (LITS) Open House
1:00 – 5:00pm
Atrium, WIlliston Library
Stop by for an introduction to the many resources LITS has to offer! While here, you can take a tour of our beautiful buildings, meet our fabulous staff, make a button, write on the Ask LITS wall, or grab a cup of coffee from Rao’s. Families, come see where your student will be living during finals!

Academic Advising (mandatory)
1:30 – 5:00 pm
Faculty Offices
Students meet with their academic advisors.

Parent and Family Orientation
1:30 – 5:00 pm

Student Life & Academics Panel (Parent & Family Orientation)
1:30–3:00 PM
Chapin Auditorium, Mary Woolley Hall
Student life and academic professionals discuss your student’s transition into college life at MHC and answer your questions.

Networking for parents and families of first-generation students (Parent & Family Orientation)
3:15–4:00 PM
New York Room, Mary Woolley Hall
Join staff from offices across Mount Holyoke to learn more about the resources and support systems available to first-generation students and their families. Ask questions, meet staff and learn about ways to support your student.

Curriculum to careers: Learning by doing at MHC (Parent & Family Orientation)
3:15–4:00 PM
or 4:15–5:00 PM
Chapin Auditorium, Mary Woolley Hall
At Mount Holyoke College, students have many opportunities to connect academic work with professional development through focused experiential learning. This process often starts during the first year on campus, as students learn more about possible paths for building experience and explore options that interest them. This session will provide examples of classroom innovations, internships, research, student employment and other ways that students can learn by doing at Mount Holyoke.    

Student Financial Services, drop-in hours (Parent & Family Orientation)
3:00–5:00 PM
Skinner Hall
Financial wellness is a key component of college success. Please stop by Student Financial Services with your questions about student accounts, financial aid or educational financing and to learn more about SALT, Mount Holyoke’s financial wellness tool.

President’s Reception for New Students and Families
5:00 – 6:00 pm
President’s Garden
Acting President Sonya Stephens welcomes new students and families. Moved to Willits-Hallowell Center if raining.

Ham-MacGregor, Prospect and Wilder Halls open for dinner
5:00 – 7:00pm

Dinner for Transfer Students
6:00 – 7:00pm
Jenkins Room, Admission Center
Meet your fellow transfer students as well as members of the administration and Orientation Leaders.

Meet Your Res Life Staff (mandatory)
8:00 – 9:00pm
Your Residence Hall
Students will meet in the common areas of their residence halls to get to know their staff and fellow new students. Then they will walk over together to enjoy the movie Dirty Dancing under the stars!

Movie Under the Stars: Dirty Dancing
Gettell Amphitheatre
Come join your fellow new students and cheer when “nobody puts Baby in the corner” because “Baby’s starting Mount Holyoke in the fall”!
Rain location: Chapin Auditorium, Mary Woolley Hall

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Welcome to MoHome (mandatory)
9:30 – 11:30am
Chapin Auditorium, Mary Woolley Hall
Join the Division of Student Life and your Orientation Leaders to learn about social and academic life at MHC. A fun-filled session of community building, MHC facts, and insider tips on how to navigate your new college world.

Ham-MacGregor, Prospect and Wilder Halls open for lunch
11:30am – 1:15pm

Gender 101 (mandatory)
1:30 – 3:00pm and 3:30pm - 5:00pm
Gamble Auditorium
Students will learn about basic concepts of gender identity, and will develop the skills of gender etiquette that will be important during and after their time at Mount Holyoke College. Students will be split into two groups, and alternate between Gender 101 and Storytelling in Social Justice.

Storytelling in Social Justice (mandatory)
1:30pm - 3:00pm and 3:30 – 5:00pm
Various classrooms
In this small group session, students will delve further into definitions and topics of social justice, with the opportunity to learn more about each other’s stories. Students will be split into two groups, and alternate between Gender 101 and Storytelling in Social Justice.

Ham-MacGregor, Prospect and Wilder Halls open for dinner
5:00 – 7:00pm

Dessert at the Cultural Centers, Unity Center & Eliot House
6:00 – 8:00 pm
Cultural Centers and Eliot House
Students will have an opportunity to enjoy great food, games, and activities while visiting each Cultural Center, the Unity Center and the Eliot House in order to learn more about the resources, programs, and affiliated student organizations in each space.

Pub Trivia Night for Frances Perkins Scholars
7:00 - 9:00 pm
Blanchard Great Room
Welcome MoHome new and returning FPs! This year we have a pub-inspired trivia night just for you—there will be snacks, drinks, prizes, and of course, trivia!

First Saturday!
8:00 – 10:00 pm
Chapin Auditorium
Come meet your fellow new students as you enjoy a summer night with music, food—and so much more!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Dining Services Information and Scheduling Meeting (mandatory for all students working for Dining Services)
8:30 – 11:30am
Hooker Auditorium
Paperwork required for student employment and Dining Services student worker dining hall schedules.

Ham-MacGregor, Prospect and Wilder Halls open for lunch
11:30am – 1:15pm

Be Well at Mount Holyoke (mandatory)
1:00 – 3:30pm
Chapin Auditorium followed by various locations throughout campus.
Come learn about all the well-being resources and services available to you as a member of the Mount Holyoke community, and set your well-being intentions for the year!

The Chapin session will be followed by an afternoon of breakout workshops to learn innovative ways to take care of yourself as you begin life at MHC.  All new students should register for their workshops by August 2, 2017. Click here to register.

Communication, Accountability, and Sexual Respect in our Community (mandatory)
4:00 – 5:30pm
Chapin Auditorium, Mary Woolley Hall
A powerful theater piece designed to educate and start a dialogue about sexual violence prevention on our campus. The performance contains a series of vignettes with examples of consent conversations, bystander strategies, and stories of support for both survivors and those who have perpetrated violence. These fictional stories are written and performed by Five College students and staff. The cast and crew consist of sexual violence survivors, allies, consent educators, trauma counselors, and safer sex educators.

Abbey, Blanchard, Ham-MacGregor, Prospect, Rockefeller and Wilder Halls open for dinner
5:00 – 7:00pm

Honor Code Ceremony (mandatory)
8:00 – 9:00pm
Abbey Chapel

Mount Holyoke Traditions: Your First M&Cs (mandatory)
9:00 – 11:00pm
Reading Room & Atrium, Williston Library
Come join in one of the most delicious MHC traditions, Milk and Cookies! (In Mary Lyon's day, it was crackers.) Socialize with classmates and staff from Library, Information, and Technology Services (LITS) in the Main Reading Room, enjoy some cookies, and collect a special gift.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Kickin It with Campus Police (mandatory)
9:30 – 11:00am
Chapin Auditorium, Mary Woolley Hall
Members of Campus Police host this information session on the resources and supports available in this fun and interactive session.

Introduction to the Career Development Center
11:00am – 12:00pm
Chapin Auditorium, Mary Woolley Hall
We will introduce career development services and resources for students, and discuss student employment and JobX (the student employment database). Join us to learn more about opportunities that await you as a Mount Holyoke student, including Nexus, internships, and the many avenues to pursuing your goals through The Lynk.

Abbey, Blanchard, Ham-MacGregor, Prospect, Rockefeller and Wilder Halls open for lunch
11:30am – 1:15pm

[Not so Secret] Secrets of Academic Success (mandatory for first year students)
1:00 – 2:30pm
Chapin Auditorium, Mary Woolley Hall
This session will cover academic resources, keys to transitioning to MHC academics, general academic success tips, and a reflection on the kind of learner you are.

Academic Success for Transfer students and Frances-Perkins Scholars (mandatory)
1:00 – 2:30pm
New York Room, Mary Woolley Hall
This session will focus specifically on the transfer and Frances-Perkins experience, with resources provided by staff and students. It will cover academic resources, keys to transitioning to MHC, general success tips, and more.

Aware Today (mandatory)
2:30 – 4:30pm
Skinner Green; Rain location: Kendade Atrium and various classrooms
Come test your knowledge about ways to reduce your risks; build on skills to assess and help yourself and others to become Aware Today, Alive Tomorrow! This event will feature interactive stations about how to determine personal Blood Alcohol Content (BAC); ways to intervene in an alcohol emergency; understanding the effects of marijuana; learning about our Medical Amnesty policy; along with driving a golf cart on Skinner Green wearing Fatal Vision Goggles that simulate driving under the influence. Free ice-cream, T-shirts and other give-aways!

Library, Information, and Technology Services (LITS) Frances Perkins Scholars Welcoming Reception

2:30 – 3:30pm
Stimson Room

Enjoy refreshments with librarians and technologists and learn about resources and services that will help you succeed at Mount Holyoke in the Stimson Room of the library, followed by a quick tour of the LITS complex.

Living Green at MHC
2:30 – 3:00pm and 3:00 – 3:30pm
New York Room
Join MHC’s EcoReps and the Miller Worley Center to learn more about sustainability efforts on campus, how to get involved with environmental initiatives, and more!

Miller Worley Center for the Environment Sustainability Walk
4:00 – 5:00pm
Meet outside Blanchard
The EcoReps will guide you through campus on a recently developed walk showcasing sustainable features and environmental initiatives at Mount Holyoke.

College Songs Workshops
4:00 – 5:00pm
McCulloch Auditorium, Pratt Hall

Join members of the Mount Holyoke choral ensembles as we teach you traditional Mount Holyoke songs - the Alma Mater, the Goodnight Song, and even the Drinking Song! It's also a fantastic opportunity to chat with current MHC students involved in music and specifically choral singing at Mount Holyoke.

International Student Immigration Session (mandatory for international students)
4:00 – 4:30pm
Gamble Auditorium
Review of immigration regulations that apply to foreign citizens studying in the U.S.

International Student Work Clearance (mandatory for international students)
4:30 – 5:30pm
Gamble Auditorium
New students who plan to work on campus must complete required forms during this session (I-9 and federal/state tax forms). Bring your passport and I-20 form (F-1 students) or DS2019 (J-1 students).

Abbey, Blanchard, Ham-MacGregor, Prospect, Rockefeller and Wilder Halls open for dinner
5:00 – 7:00pm

Orientation 101 (mandatory)
8:00 – 9:00pm
Chapin Auditorium
Join in a tradition that helps you get acquainted with the ins and outs of life at MHC. The only prerequisite is a sense of humor. This is a spirited (and loud!) event with a great deal of cheering as the returning students welcome you into the community.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Academic Fair
9:00-10:30 am
Chapin Auditorium, Mary Woolley Hall

Class of 2021 Picture
Gettell Amphitheater

11:30am – 12:30pm
Gettell Amphitheater
Join Acting President Sonya Stephens for a ceremony marking the official opening of the academic year.

Convocation Picnic
12:30 – 1:30pm
Skinner Green
Rain location: Dining halls

Big Sibling/Little Sibling Treasure Hunt: Where to Next?
2:30PM - 4:30PM
Meet at Mary Lyon's Grave
Hi Little Sibling! Enjoy a great treasure hunt with your Big Sibling class of 2019 on Convocation Day. We will have series of riddles hidden all around campus that you and your Big Siblings can solve together. This event will give you the opportunity to get to know the campus, the surrounding area, as well as the Junior class. We can't wait to meet you!

Welcome Reception for New and Returning FPs
4:00 – 5:30 pm
Dickinson Hall Lawn
Enjoy the company of your fellow FPs as you get ready for the start of classes. Rain location: Dickinson Hall living room.

Backstage Tour
4:00 pm
Lobby of Rooke Theatre
Join the theatre department for a tour of the facility, meet the faculty, staff, and student reps. We will discuss auditions, performances, classes and the 2017-18 season, and volunteer possibilities. Refreshments will be served.

Museum Mania
4:00 - 5:00 pm
Mount Holyoke College Art Museum
Try our new Scavenger Hunt Selfie Challenge! Explore the Museum's galleries and be the first on campus to see our new exhibitions. Everyone who completes the challenge gets a free poster. Museum staff will select their favorite selfie for a special prize! The challenge starts at 4:00 p.m. Prizes, refreshments, and info about the Museum’s programs and opportunities for students start at 4:30 p.m. in Gamble Auditorium.

Common Read Speaker: Claudia Rankine
7:00 – 8:30pm
Chapin Auditorium
Hear from this year’s common read author, Claudia Rankine, as she discusses her work Citizen: An American Lyric.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Class Begin for all students! Make sure to check out all of the opportunities, events and programs available as part of MHC’s Welcome MoHome, our weeks of welcome program.


Dance Department Information Meeting
Studio Theater, Kendall Hall
Meet the Dance faculty and guest artists, learn about the dance department's curriculum, activities, performing opportunities, audition dates for choreographic projects and more.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Campus Clarity Make-up Session
1:30pm - 3:30pm
Space TBD
For those students who have not yet completed the online Campus Clarity module, as sent out to students via email.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Social Security Session for International Students
12:30 – 3:30pm              
Blanchard 318
All new international students who are on work study (and work on campus) AND all new international students who have a Global Loan from Student Financial Services must apply for a Social Security Card. Staff from the Holyoke Social Security Office will process applications. Bring your passport, original travel documents (I-20 or DS-2019), and a letter from your on-campus employer. For more information.