Opening Day: Thursday, August 31

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. 

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

8:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.

  • Hampstore
    Harold F. Johnson Library, lower level
    Don’t miss Hampshire-imprinted clothing and gifts.

8 a.m.–5 p.m.

  • Kern Kafé
    R.W. Kern Center, first floor
    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!

9 a.m.–1 p.m.

  • Central Check-in
    Robert Crown Center
    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.

9 a.m.–3 p.m.

  • Moving In
    Residential houses
    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!

Noon–1:30 p.m.

  • Picnic Lunch
    Dining tent, lawn between the Lemelson Building and the Cole Science Center
    When you’ve finished moving in, or if you’d like to take a break, stop by the dining tent for lunch. New students, families, and friends are welcome—lunch is on us!

1:00–4:30 p.m.

  • Family Lounge
    Franklin Patterson Hall, Faculty and Staff Lounge
    At any time, families can take a break and enjoy light refreshments, relax, check email, read Hampshire publications, or talk with staff and students.

1:30–2:20 p.m.

  • The Academic Program
    Franklin Patterson Hall, Main Lecture Hall
    You already know we have no majors and no grades but if you’re still a bit mystified about how our academic system operates, this is for you. Dive into Hampshire’s unique academic program, such as the divisional system and the five interdisciplinary schools (areas of study). Hear about how students are supported by the advising office, how narrative evaluations work in place of grades, and how to access courses at the other schools in the Five College consortium.
    Moderator: Eva Rueschmann, vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty, professor of cultural studies
    • Rachael Graham, director of central records
    • Laura Melbin, associate dean of advising
  • Hampshire 101: General Information
    Franklin Patterson Hall, West Lecture Hall
    If this is your first time on campus and you’d like a broad overview of what it’s going to be like to be a Hampshire student, this is for you. Learn about academics and student life. (This is a replication of an admission visit information session.)
  • Campus Tour
    Meet at Franklin Patterson Hall, at the Torrey Courtyard
    For families who haven’t had a chance to take a tour of the College, enjoy a 45-minute guided walk around campus.

2:30–3:20 p.m.

  • Life Outside the Classroom
    Franklin Patterson Hall, Main Lecture Hall
    Learn how we facilitate student growth and success outside the classroom. We’ll discuss housing, wellness resources, and services that support campus life. Learn how your student can get involved with student groups, recreation, athletics, and programs we have designed especially for those new to Hampshire. 
    Moderator: Pam Tinto, associate dean of students
    • Andrea (Dre) Domingue, assistant dean of students and director of multicultural and international student services
    • Brad King, director of outdoor programs, recreation, and athletics
    • Liza Neal 91F, director of spiritual life
    • Carolyn Strycharz, assistant director for campus leadership and activities

3:30–4:20 p.m.

  • Student Orientation Groups Meet
    Sidewalk between Franklin Patterson Hall and the Cole Science Center
    Students meet their orientation groups for the first time. This is mandatory for all new students.

3:30–4:15 p.m.

  • Campus Tour
    Meet at the R.W. Kern Center, Lobby
    For families who haven’t had a chance to take a tour of the College, enjoy a 45-minute guided walk around campus.

3:30–4:20 p.m.

  • Health, Wellness, and Safety Panel
    Franklin Patterson Hall, Main Lecture Hall
    Hear how Hampshire fosters wellness and supports health and safety needs for new students.
    Moderator: Gloria Lopez, interim vice president for student affairs and dean of students
    • Sara Aierstuck, director of health and counseling services
    • Earl Brown, community outreach officer
    • Ray LaBarre, deputy chief of campus police
    • Eliza McArdle, director of counseling services

4:30–5:30 p.m.

  • Welcome Ceremony
    Event tent, library quad
    All entering students, as well as their families and friends, are invited to join us as we kick off the orientation program. Speakers include President Jonathan Lash, Director of New Student Programs Jessica Ortiz, and other special guests.

5:30–6:45 p.m.

  • Outdoor Dinner
    Dining tent, lawn between the Lemelson Building and the Cole Science Center
    During dinner, students—and their families and friends—can get acquainted with their orientation groups and make new friends.

6:45 p.m.

  • Families and Friends Depart
    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.
Stay In Touch
With Alumni and Family Relations
Snail Mail
Alumni and Family Relations
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002