First-year Students “Thrive Together” as Orientation 2019 Begins at Wellesley

August 27, 2019

Happy first year move-in day from Wellesley! As members of the newest yellow class take their first steps on campus, student leaders work to put the final touches on orientation preparations.

This year, the orientation theme is “Thrive Together,” which David Todd, advisor for new student programs, said grew out of a desire to connect new students with the campus and to each other to build community spirit.

“We are at our best when we work together,” he said. “You don’t have to do Wellesley alone.”

This week’s programs focus on both the academic and social aspects of life at Wellesley. “New students will have opportunities to explore campus resources and meet with student leaders, faculty, and staff members who will be helpful to them as they register for courses, get to know their classmates, and begin to call Wellesley their home,” said Shanté Brown, dean of first-year students.

Six students fold t shirts in an office space.

To make sure incoming students feel supported all year long, Wellesley has increased the number of orientation coordinators on hand to welcome students and act as a resource for the rest of the academic year. Each of the six coordinators has been matched with an administrative department ranging from sustainability to parent and family programs.

Five students work in an office, preparing for orientation 2019.

Catherine Larson ’22 (second from right) works with a number of departments, including the Office of Sustainability and the Paulson Ecology of Place Initiative.

“I think it’s important to educate the first years when they arrive about the sustainable practices we have at Wellesley, such as composting, and recycling,” she said. “In regard to the Paulson Initiative, we are including a lake walk designed by them as a wellness break that encourages the first years to feel attached to Wellesley’s landscape.”


Three students continue to fold t-shirts.

The coordinators supervise 60 orientation mentors, who are the “boots on the ground,” according to Brown. The mentors are assigned to students based on their campus residences—East Side, Tower Court, and The Quint.

“The mentors work with students through the semester because it’s difficult for first year students to pick everything up during orientation week,” said Brown. “This way they will be closer to the students they serve and more accessible—just like people in a neighborhood.”