This year’s orientation at Mary Baldwin University, “Putting Your Pieces Together,” was a day longer than in recent years and filled with inventive ways to introduce new students to the campus and to Staunton. The extended schedule and a new session for transfer students to make sure they too receive individual attention were the results of suggestions from the Mary Baldwin Advantage task force for the threshold experience, which convened in fall 2004, said Melinda Brown, director of the first year experience. Adding more frequent breaks and downtime helped orientation leaders, new students, and staff stay energized, one orientation leader said.
The weekend kicked off on freshman move-in day August 25 with a department fair to show new students all that Mary Baldwin has to offer academically. Students met their faculty advisors and attended Comedy of Errors at the American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse on day two. They capped off the day with a scavenger hunt for oversized puzzle pieces at various departments on campus. After the necessary entrance exams on Saturday, students took a tour of downtown Staunton with orientation leaders and saw a movie at the Dixie Theater. On the final day, all students were invited to see VWIL’s first parade of the year and have dinner in Hunt Dining Hall.
“Orientation is a time when we concentrate on the transitional issues faced by new students. We keep them busy and infuse events with personal touches so they are engaged and comfortable in their new environment,” Brown said.