Welcome New Students

You are at a crossroad—one at which you may feel both excited and uncertain. Remember that the College’s resources and services are here for you. Orientation is just the beginning of your transition and support is available to you during your entire journey at Mount Holyoke.

At Mount Holyoke, you have the freedom and the responsibility to construct your education and embrace many opportunities. We wish you good health and an adventurous intellectual life as you embark upon your chosen path.

Fall 2015 Orientation

  • Move-in:
    International students arrive on Monday, August 31, 2015
    Domestic students arrive Wednesday, September 2, 2015
  • Convocation Tuesday, September 8, 2015
  • Classes begin Wednesday, September 9, 2015
  • See the Orientation Schedule for details.

Spring 2016 Orientation

  • Move-in:
    International students arrive Wednesday, January 13, 2016
    Domestic students arrive Thursday, January 14, 2016
  • Classes begin Tuesday, January 19, 2016
  • The orientation schedule for Spring 2016 will be posted in Fall 2015

Orientation Preparation Suggestions

  • When you arrive, the students wearing Orientation T-shirts are leaders trained to answer questions or direct you to the appropriate persons or locations.  Think of them as your ambassadors to your new community.  They will serve you as such and are happy to help.
  • Please always be checking the MHC Events Calendar for up to the minute information on campus happenings.
  • Like us on Facebook - to get up to the minute Orientation updates!
  • During Orientation, for answers to your questions about programs, transportation, dining, locations, rain plans, or anything else related to Orientation, call or drop by the Information Desk (x2045); the Info Desk is located on the middle level in Blanchard Campus Center.

Common Experience Sponsored by Student Government Association 2014/2015 (2015/2016 Common Experience posted March 2015)

Dear New Students,

Greetings! My name is Casey Accardi, and I’m thrilled to serve as your Student Government Association President for the upcoming year. I hope you are having a wonderful summer and are excited to join the Mount Holyoke community this August or January – I know I speak for my peers when I say we are so excited to welcome you! Rest assured, I can confidently say you’ve chosen the right place to spend the next few transformative and empowering years of your life.

 This year, the Student Government Association, with support from the Dean of Students office, is sponsoring the Common Experience, a MHC program in which all incoming students read the same text prior to Orientation.  This unique shared experience will give you common ground to engage in stimulating and eye-opening discussions with your peers and our community at large. Our selection for this year is Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman. You have most likely heard of the Netflix comedy-drama, but did you know the series was inspired by Smith College graduate Piper Kerman’s non-fiction account of her experience in prison? Through exposure to Kerman’s memoir and dialogue in small groups, we will fruitfully explore these topics as a campus.  Dr. Shabnam Javdani, whose Huffington Post Op-Ed on media representation of Orange is the New Black can be found here discussing women and mass incarceration.

It is our expectation that incoming students will purchase, rent, or borrow a copy of Orange is the New Black to read prior to your arrival. If obtaining a copy of the book is cost prohibitive for you, a limited number of copies are available by contacting orientation@mtholyoke.edu before 8/13/2014. Orange is the New Black is available at a low cost on Amazon.com, can be found in all major bookstores (check out your local bookstore too!), is accessible as an eBook, and is available at most libraries in the “New Books” or “Adult” sections.

As I eagerly turn from one page to the next of Orange is the New Black, I cannot help but become more and more excited to share in meaningful conversation about the memoir, and countless other topics, with you! Please know that the Student Government Association is here as a resource and pathway to engagement for all students, and that my door (and email inbox) is always open. I look forward to meeting you soon!


Casey Accardi ‘15

Student Government Association President