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New Student Orientation

We believe in happy beginnings.

You know you've come to the right place when you see a group of students in brightly-colored T-shirts jumping up and down, blowing whistles and holding big signs welcoming you to campus for Orientation. Be sure to honk and wave back as you drive into the parking lot.

Burlington here we come! Move in day

Wonder what orientation is like?

Your first stop will be the Ross Sports Center where you will pick up your keys and other information (including a dashboard sign for your vehicle).  We'll have lots of people to help direct you and move your things. We politely ask you to move your vehicle away from the Quad/First Year Residences once you've unloaded to make room for others trying to move in.  Thank you for your patience during this process!

Campus Perspectives

To help you prepare for Orientation and your journey as a St. Mike's student, we've included testimonials from members of our campus community:

A Message from Saint Michael's College President John Neuhauser

jack neuhauser

I offer each of you new students a warm and sincere welcome to Saint Michael's College. You are entering a new community with its own set of explicit and implicit norms which you will have to learn. Leaving all that is familiar and comfortable is not easy, despite the brave front we all put on. There will likely be times of homesickness and loneliness - as much or more so for your parents - but it is part of the gamble that each generation takes. With a little luck, some hard work and an open mind, this will be a grand experience, one of the very few that lasts a lifetime. You have been given a four-year window that can change you profoundly, if you let it. You will leave with great friends and great memories.

But as important as memories are, we have other expectations for you as well. Saint Michael's College takes the role of student formation very seriously. By student formation I do not mean indoctrination or imposing values from the outside. Rather, these four years at a residential college with a long academic tradition ought to provide the opportunity for each individual to grow along three dimensions: intellectual, social, and moral or spiritual.

We believe each student should be presented with standards for intellectual growth based on evidence, standards for social behavior that encourage respect and understanding for others, and standards for moral and spiritual development which enable one to interpret the world and decide freely on the precepts that will guide their own life. We are about helping you develop habits of heart and mind.

That is what a Catholic liberal arts college can provide - development of the whole person, not parts of a person. No other period of your life will permit such intense change, so I ask you to embrace all of it with seriousness and with joy.

This is a warm and supportive community. It will welcome and nurture you and provide comfort in times of trouble. The faculty and staff are here to help, so use them. We all need a hand at times, so never hesitate to ask for assistance. That’s why we are here.

One final caution: the start is very important. In my experience, the first six weeks are critical for they set the tone, not only for your college years, but for a lifetime. Begin well, and the rest is easy.

A Student's Perspective on Orientation

Orientation Leaders

I remember every last detail of my orientation. From the crammed SUV full of way too much stuff, to the U-Haul wagon my father insisted on renting, orientation marked a very memorable time in my life. We pulled into campus to the orientation leaders' loud whistles and screams, and signs reading "Too Much Stuff," obviously pointing right at me as I was the car towing the fleet of storage units behind. I moved into my new residence hall, had that first encounter with the new roommate, met my orientation leaders and eventually sat down in this chapel for convocation.

I felt some uneasiness and anxiety and before I knew it, I was officially on my own. Yet as orientation progressed, I quickly realized that I was not alone in this. Not only were there 500 other students in the same boat as me, there were the orientation leaders who had experienced all of this before, and who lent their support and knowledge to us. 

As orientation continued I became even more comfortable and took part in all of the activities. This is how I met some of my best friends. I was able to step out of my comfort zone and immerse myself into this new environment. I have not looked back since. My advice to the incoming class: Step out of your comfort zone and never be afraid to try something new. This is the way that I have lived my times here at Saint Michael’s and it has never steered me wrong.

Learn What Matters