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Welcome, Entering Class of Fall 2008!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Information for new students

On August 28, 456 new students arrive on campus and officially join the Hampshire College community. The entering class of fall 2008 includes 417 first years and 39 transfers, plus five visiting students.

New student orientation will be informed by Hampshire's distinctive educational philosophy and practices. Four themes will run through orientation sessions, says Josiah Litant, director of new student programs: intellectual life; identity; community; and health and wellness.

Orientation runs through September 2, when new students will participate in their first Hampshire classes, small-group tutorials.

The common reading for the incoming class, read over the summer, is Oliver Sacks' The Island of the Colorblind. It will be discussed in small groups led by professors, with first-year students experiencing what it is like to be part of a Hampshire classroom discussion and participating in a shared intellectual experience before classes officially begin.

Sacks' book is part travelogue, part autobiography, and part medical mystery, covering a fascinating array of topics and areas of research: the meaning of islands; the genesis of disease; botany; time; the colonial and postcolonial history of the Pacific; travel literature; disability and difference; and what it means to be human. It represents an excellent text for introducing students to Hampshire's interdisciplinary curriculum.

Returning students arrive back on campus September 1, and regular classes begin on September 3.

A special two-day family orientation is planned for August 28-29 for parents and families of new students. Family orientation enables parents and families to connect and network with one another, as well as learn more about Hampshire.

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