Classes may not be in session, but Orientation Directors Destini and Kristen are spending the summer on campus preparing for over 800 new students to arrive in August.

New students and their families will be welcomed to Hope during Orientation Weekend for four full days of events and activities in late August intended to help first year students connect with classmates, meet advisors, learn about campus and make lifelong friends.

“During Orientation weekend, there are many chances for your parents to connect with people who will be an integral part of your Hope experience. For example, your parents will have the opportunity to meet your FYS professor, who will be your advisor until you declare your major,” Destini Pulido, Orientation Director, said.

Beyond connecting parents with the Hope experience, Orientation also serves as an introduction to the opportunities the campus has to offer.

“We like to call ourselves ‘seed-planters,’” Kristen Garrett, Orientation Director, said. “Orientation tries to integrate every part of campus into a quick four days to introduce students to places where they can begin to grow their roots — or, in the words of Chris Bohle (Student Development), ‘drop their anchors.’”

Destini and Kristen have been at work since May to ensure no detail gets overlooked. They work alongside Advising and Transitions Orientation Directors Alexis Rivers and Claire Letizen, who are an integral part of planning Academic Advising Days and preparing for events in the fall. By August, twenty-seven Assistant Directors and 176 Orientation Assistants will have joined them to make final preparations for incoming students to arrive.

In July the Orientation team partnered with Student Development and Alumni Relations on the road for our Summer Sendoff picnics, which were held in cities throughout Michigan and in the Chicago area. These events help new students and their families to build connections with the Hope community living in their area.

"The Office of Alumni and Family Engagement looks forward to the Summer Send Off picnics all year. It's so fun to gather alumni and current students and families with those just starting their Hope journey. You can literally see some of the fear and anxiety melting away as incoming students meet each other and learn more about what it will be like to take part in Orientation weekend,” said Beth Szczerowski, Alumni Relations.

One detail of Orientation Weekend is making sure every new student receives a Welcome Bag that includes valuable coupons, a schedule of weekend activities and helpful information for getting to know campus.  

Joining social media conversations is a must, too. Keep up with the @HopeOrientation team on Twitter and Instagram and use the hashtag #Hope2019 to share your first-year story.

If you haven’t already, we encourage you to contact your new roommate to get to know one another and avoid bringing duplicate items. In addition, continue to check your 1Hope email and Hope on Facebook throughout the summer for Orientation updates.

For additional information regarding Orientation schedules, college packing lists, and other resources available, visit our Orientation homepage. Additional questions can be asked by email at or by phone at 616-395-7882.

When August 28th arrives, Orientation will begin.