Opening Day: Thursday, September 1 |
student in media lab

Opening Day: Thursday, September 1


Opening Day is designed to help new students move into their rooms, get settled, and to 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 noon. 

Schedule (subject to change):

8:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.

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

8:30 a.m.–4:30 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, 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 for or pick up materials for Family Orientation at the Family Relations table. Students receive ID cards, keys, orientation schedules, and other important documents. Students and their families can speak with staff from financial aid, student accounts, and the student employment offices at this time. Vendors are also available for those who want to set up a bank account or purchase 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, are available to help you. Don’t hesitate to ask for assistance!

Noon-1:30 p.m.

Picnic Lunch
Dining tent, lawn between the Lemelson Building and 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!

1-4:30 p.m.

Family Lounge
Franklin Patterson Hall, Faculty 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
Dive deeper into Hampshire’s unique academic program, such as the Divisional system, the five interdisciplinary schools, and the academic centers and programs. We will also discuss all the resources that are available to our students, among them advising, evaluations, and the Five College consortium.

Moderator: Eva Rueschmann, vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty, professor of cultural studies

  • Nell Kochenburger 13F
  • Laura Melbin, assistant dean of advising
  • Rachel Rubinstein, dean for academic support, associate professor of American literature and Jewish studies
  • Bobbie Stuart, director of central records

1:30-2:15 p.m.

Campus Tour
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 walk around campus.

2:30-3:20 p.m.

Life Outside the Classroom
Franklin Patterson Hall, Main Lecture Hall
Learn more about how we facilitate student development and success outside the classroom. We’ll discuss the programs, resources, and services that support campus life, including housing, student groups, recreation, programs for new students, and more.  

Moderator: Pam Tinto, associate dean of students

  • Andrea (Dre) Domingue, director of multicultural and international student services
  • Jessica Fontaine, director of student conduct, rights, and responsibilities
  • Forrest Jackson 13F, student
  • Brad King, director of outdoor programs, recreation, and athletics
  • Gretchen LaBonte, assistant dean of students; director of campus leadership and activities
  • Liza Neal 91F, director of spiritual life

3:30-4:20 p.m.

Student Orientation Groups Meet
Sidewalk between Franklin Patterson Hall and 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 Torrey Courtyard, Franklin Patterson Hall
For families who haven’t had a chance to take a tour of the College, enjoy a 45-minute 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: Byron McCrae, vice president for student affairs and dean of students

  • Sara Aierstuck, director of health and counseling services
  • Earl Brown, community outreach officer
  • Jamila Umi Jackson 14F, alumni fellow, music and dance program
  • 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 all kick off the orientation program. Speakers will be President Jonathan Lash; Meredith Twombly, dean of enrollment and retention; and Jessica Ortiz, director of new student programs.

5:30-6:45 p.m.

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

6:45 p.m.

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

7-9 p.m.

Dessert Reception
Courtyard Marriott, Ballroom
423 Russell Street, Hadley
Join President Jonathan Lash and Byron McCrae, vice president for student affairs and dean of students, for a dessert reception.

Families are also invited to stay on Friday for the optional Family Orientation (typically called "parent orientation" at other institutions).

Family Orientation Schedule

Incoming students should check the new student website for new student orientation information.


Opening Day or Family Orientation: Alumni and Family Relations 413.559.6638
New Student Orientation: Office of New Student Programs 413.559.5412


Stay In Touch
With Alumni and Family Relations
Snail Mail
Alumni and Family Relations
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002
Phone + Email
Fax: 413.559.6054