Incoming Students and Parents Orient Themselves to U.Va.

August 17, 2009 — Between June 22 and July 24, at 10 summer orientation sessions, more than 3,200 incoming first-year University of Virginia students and their parents made whirlwind tours of residence halls, dining halls, financial aid and student affairs offices.

Students shopped at the U.Va. Bookstore and signed up for their first semester of classes. Parents registered for Parents as Partners, collected license-plate frames – and asked questions. Lots of questions.

Thirty-two orientation leaders – rising second-, third- and fourth-years whose job it is to make the new students feel at home – sang "The Good Ol' Song" o'er and o'er at each welcome session.

"They've done this 10 times," Tabitha Enoch, director of Summer Orientation, said.
"Their enthusiasm never flagged."

Meanwhile, here are some of the things you learn at Summer Orientation, courtesy of Allen Groves, dean of students:

-- The washing machines in Kellogg House will e-mail you when your laundry is done.

-- On "Move-In Day" – this Saturday – Charlottesville will be roughly the surface temperature of the sun.

-- Scout a first-year dorm room and remember: Two people have to live there.

-- With 700 student organizations and 65 club sports, U.Va. has lots of options for students looking to try something new.

Parents and students can shake hands with President John T. Casteen III when he addresses them at 1 p.m. on Saturday – in Old Cabell Hall. Parents who couldn't attend orientation can obtain a copy of the Handbook for Parents there; the handbook is also available online.

The last orientation session, for international students, will be held Wednesday through Friday.

— By Marian Anderfuren