Opening Day: Thursday, August 30

A Hampshire College Student on Campus

Opening Day is designed to help new students move into their rooms, get settled, and welcome your whole family into the Hampshire community. Family and friends are invited to join new students on Opening Day.
Please plan to arrive between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. 

Opening Day 2018
Thursday, August 30, 2018

Before you arrive

Opening Day or Family Orientation: Alumni and Family Relations 413.559.6638
New Student Orientation: Office of New Student Programs 413.559.6392

Schedule Subject to Change


Harold F. Johnson Library, lower level
8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Don’t miss Hampshire-imprinted clothing and gifts.

Kern Kafé

R.W. Kern Center, first floor
10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Stop by and pick up one of our delicious made-from-scratch blondies, breakfast pastries, soft pretzels, cookies, handcrafted sandwiches, or salads. Thirsty? We’ve got an espresso, latte, or daily-drip brew (hot or cold) just for you!

Central Check-in

Robert Crown Center
9 a.m.–1 p.m.
This is where it all begins. Families can register or pick up materials for Family Orientation at the Family Relations table. Students receive ID cards, keys, orientation schedules, and other important documents. At this time, students and their families can speak with staff from financial aid, student accounts, and the student employment office. Vendors are also available for those who want to set up a bank account or purchase any of an assortment of items.

Moving In

Residential houses
9 a.m.–3 p.m.
Students move into their assigned houses. Orientation and residence life staff, who will be wearing T-shirts with the orientation logo, will be available to help you. Please don’t hesitate to ask for assistance!

Picnic Lunch

Dining tent, lawn between the Lemelson Building and the Cole Science Center
Noon–1:30 p.m.
When you’ve finished moving in or if you’d just like to refuel, stop by the dining tent for lunch. New students, families, and friends are welcome: Lunch is on us!

Family Lounge

Franklin Patterson Hall, Faculty and Staff Lounge
1:00–4:30 p.m.
At any time, families can take a break and enjoy light refreshments, relax, check e-mail, read Hampshire publications, or talk with staff and students.

The Academic Program

Franklin Patterson Hall, Main Lecture Hall
1:30–2:20 p.m.
You already know we have narrative evaluations and that students design their own majors, but if you’re still a bit mystified about how our academic system operates, this is for you. Dive into Hampshire’s unique program, such as the Divisional system and the five interdisciplinary Schools. Discover how students are supported by the advising office, how narrative evaluations work in place of grades, and how to access courses at the other institutions in the Five College Consortium.

Moderator: Eva Rueschmann, dean of faculty

  • Laura Melbin, associate dean of advising
  • John Slepian, dean for academic support, Five College associate professor of art and technology
  • Rachael Graham, director of central records
  • Student speaker (TBD)

Campus Tour

Meet at R.W. Kern Center, lobby
1:30–2:20 p.m.
For families who haven’t had a chance to take a tour of the College, enjoy a 45-minute guided walk around campus.

Life Outside the Classroom

Franklin Patterson Hall, Main Lecture Hall
2:30–3:20 p.m.
Learn how we facilitate student growth and success outside the classroom. We’ll discuss housing, wellness resources, and services that support campus life. Discover, too, how your student can get involved with College-affiliated groups, recreation activities, athletics, and programs we’ve designed especially for those new to Hampshire. 

Moderator: Pam Tinto, associate dean of students

  • Brad King, director of outdoor programs, recreation, and athletics
  • Janine Knight, assistant dean of students, director of campus leadership and activities
  • Susie Mitton Shannon, associate dean of students and director of residence life
  • Greg Narleski, director of student rights and responsibilities
  • Ross 17F, student

Students Meet Their Orientation Groups 

Sidewalk between Franklin Patterson Hall and the Cole Science Center
3:30–4:20 p.m.
Students meet their orientation groups for the first time. This is mandatory for all new students.

Health, Wellness, and Safety Panel

Franklin Patterson Hall, Main Lecture Hall
3:30–4:20 p.m.
Hear how Hampshire fosters wellness and supports health and safety needs for new students.

Moderator: Gloria Lopez, vice president for student affairs and dean of students

  • Sara Aierstuck, direct of health and counseling services
  • Ray LaBarre, deputy chief, campus police
  • Eliza McArdle, director of counseling services
  • Ashley Netenal, associate director of wellness program

Campus Tour

Meet at the R.W. Kern Center, Lobby
3:30–4:15 p.m.
For families who haven’t had a chance to take a tour of the College, enjoy a 45-minute guided walk around campus.

Welcome Ceremony

Event tent, library quad
4:30–5:30 p.m.
All entering students, as well as their families and friends, are invited to join us as we kick off the orientation program. Speakers will be President Miriam Nelson, vice president for student affairs and dean of students Gloria Lopez, a current student, and other special guests.

Dinner with Orientation Groups and Families

Dining tent, lawn between the Lemelson Building and the Cole Science Center
5:30–7 p.m.
Introduce your orientation group to family and friends over dinner. Traveling solo? Dine with your fellow group members.

Families and Friends Depart

6:45 p.m.
Family and friends say good-bye to new students before their residence life meeting. The 7 o’clock meeting is mandatory for students who will be living on campus.

See last year's schedule here.

Stay In Touch
With Alumni and Family Relations
Snail Mail
Alumni and Family Relations
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002