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Bennington welcomes 224 new first-year students and 15 transfer students to campus this fall. The class of 2019 joins us from 28 countries and 35 states, affirming our efforts to bring the world to Bennington and reaffirming our responsibility to bring Bennington to the world.

Fall 2015 | August 28–September 1

A printed schedule is also provided in Orientation folders at check-in on August 28.

Welcome | Friday, August 28

9:00 am–1:00 pm
Check-In | Individual houses

Welcome to Bennington! When you arrive on campus, you will go directly to your House to meet your House Chairs, pick up your key, and move your belongings into your room. You will also pick up your Orientation materials. After you have unloaded (there will be time to settle in later), come to Commons to pick up your Bennington Card, sign up for your Faculty Workshop, and get other important information about the College. Please be sure to stop by all of the tables for important information from Bennington administrative offices and local businesses.

10:00–10:45 am
(Optional) Tour of Bennington College | Meet at the small white tent by the flagpole across from Crossett Library

Take a personalized, student-led tour of campus.

11:00–11:45 am
(Optional) Tour of Bennington College | Meet at the small white tent by the flagpole across from Crossett Library

Take a personalized, student-led tour of campus.

Noon–1:30 pm
Lunch | Commons Dining Hall (second floor)

Available for students, families, and friends.

2:00–4:00 pm
Meet Your Orientation Group Leader | Commons Lawn

Break into Orientation groups and meet your Orientation Leader and fellow incoming students. Be ready for an afternoon of lawn games, campus and Crossett Library tours, and the first question-and-answer session with upperclass students.


Parent Program | 2:00–5:00 pm

2:00–3:00 pm
Panel Discussion: Transitioning to Bennington | Student Center

Associate Provost and Dean of Studies Duncan Dobbelmann will welcome parents and lead a panel discussion to help families better understand their student’s transition to independent living, the College and its resources, and college life—both inside and outside of the classroom. This will be followed by a question and answer session with the various departments represented, including Dean of Students Xenia Markowitt, Assistant Dean for Academic Services Laurie Kobik, Director of Psychological Services April Stein, Director of Health Services Randy Anselmo, and Director of Campus Safety Ken Collamore.

3:00–4:00 pm
A Parent’s-Eye View | The Integration of the Plan Process and Field Work Term | Student Center

Associate Provost and Dean of Studies Duncan Dobbelman and Dean of Field Work Term Holly McCormack will give an overview of the Plan Process and Field Work Term, followed by a video presentation featuring students talking about their most recent Field Work Term experiences. Followed by a question-and-answer session.

4:00 pm
Parent Send-Off | Student Center Patio

President Mariko Silver will officially welcome new students and parents to the Bennington community.


5:30 pm
New Student Orientation Welcome | Student Center

Provost and Dean of the College Isabel Roche, Associate Provost and Dean of Studies Duncan Dobbelmann, Dean of Students Xenia Markowitt, and Director of the First-Year Experience and International Student Services Kate Child will welcome the incoming class and kick off the New Student Orientation program.

6:00 pm
Dinner | Commons Dining Hall

Join your Orientation group for your first dinner on campus.

7:30 pm
In the Place Where You Live | Individual houses

Head to your house to meet your housemates and learn about your house culture and traditions. Afterwards, join your street community for a Bennington tradition.

Settling In | Saturday, August 29

8:30 am
‡ Breakfast | Commons Dining Hall

 

10:00 am
Conversation with the President | Usdan Gallery/VAPA

Participate in a conversation with your peers and President Mariko Silver about education at Bennington.

11:00 am
Field Work Term (FWT) | Student Center

FWT is one of the most exciting aspects of a Bennington education. In this hour together, we’ll hear from a panel of students about their FWT experiences: where they worked; what interesting things they did; how they thrived (not just survived); and what advice they deem essential to pass on to those who will soon be following in their footsteps. We’ll also spotlight intriguing job openings already submitted by FWT employers for this year, and we’ll have a little fun officially kicking off the FWT planning process. Finally, no session about exploring work would be complete without the chance to earn some greenbacks.

Noon | First-Year Students
‡ Lunch | Commons Dining Hall

 

Noon | Transfer Students
Transfer Student Lunch | Cricket Hill Barn

Transfer students will join Assistant Dean for Academic Services Laurie Kobik, members of the Academic Services staff, and upperclass transfer students for lunch to discuss academics and co-curricular life at Bennington.

1:00 pm
(Optional) Student Employment Information Sessions | Barn 100

An opportunity to learn more about on-campus employment and have your questions answered. This session is highly recommended for Federal Work Study (FWS) students and open to all students interested in working on campus.

1:30 pm
Everything You Always Wanted to Know…about Health and Safety at Bennington | Student Center

A panel discussion about health and safety resources, services, and expectations at Bennington with Director of Campus Safety Ken Collamore, Director of Health Services Dr. Randy Anselmo, Deputy Title IX Coordinator and Dean of the Library Oceana Wilson, Dean of Students Xenia Markowitt, and Director of Psychological Services Dr. April Stein.

3:00 pm
Rotating Sessions

  • Sexual Health and Wellness at Bennington | Check with your Orientation Leader for location
    Students will break into Orientation groups to meet with Bennington Wellness (BeWell) peers, who will share information about sexual health and wellness at Bennington.
  • Q and A about Academic Life, Transitioning to Bennington, etc. with Kate | Student Center
    By this time you may have some pressing questions, and Kate will do her best to answer them! Followed by a first-year survey.

4:30 pm
Community, Diversity, and Inclusion at Bennington | Usdan Galley/VAPA

Join Coordinator for Institutional Diversity & Inclusion Lydia Brassard for an informal conversation about practicing conscious citizenship both in the classroom and the common room.

5:30 pm
‡ Dinner | Commons Dining Hall

 

6:30 pm
Orientation Group Check-In | Location to be determined by Orientation Leader

A moment to check in with your Orientation group and Orientation Leader.

7:30 pm
Faculty Panel: What is Original Work? | Usdan Gallery/VAPA

In whatever we do, whether our work is in the arts, sciences, philosophy, psychology, mathematics, history, or almost any other field one could name, we inevitably draw upon the work done by others in the past, and by our peers in the present. By what process do we arrive at that thing to which we sign our own name? What makes what we do our own?

After an introduction by Associate Provost and Dean of Studies Duncan Dobbelmann, invited faculty members will make brief presentations relating this question to their own work.

10:00 pm
Bennington Myths and Legends | End of the World/Commons Lawn

Bennington College has its fair share of myths and ghosts stories. Learn all about the hidden lore passed down through the years and then enjoy a dance party at the most haunted building of all!

Understanding Bennington | Sunday, August 30, returning student check-in

8:30 am
‡ Breakfast | Commons Dining Hall

 

10:00 am
“Fireside” Chats with Faculty Advisors and Upperclass Student Advisees | Locations in your Orientation folder

An informal conversation with a Bennington faculty member and one of their upperclass advisees. How do things work here? What is this thing called “the Plan Process?” What is the role of faculty advisors?

Noon
‡ Lunch | Commons Dining Hall

 

1:00–5:00 pm
Faculty Workshops | Locations will be provided with your workshop confirmation via email

A window into the Bennington classroom experience. We encourage you to choose a workshop in an area outside of those you’ll be studying this fall. Signups will take place during check-in at Commons. Confirmation of your workshop will be emailed to you on Saturday.

5:15 pm
Orientation Picture | End of the World/Commons Lawn

An Orientation tradition—stick around after the large group picture for a picture with your Orientation group.

6:00 pm
‡ Dinner with Student Educational Policies Committee (SEPC) Representatives | Commons Dining Hall

Meet your SEPC Representatives over dinner and learn about opportunities to get involved in academic life on campus.

7:30 pm
Faculty Works | Martha Hill Dance Theater/VAPA

Featuring the current work of faculty members Susie Ibarra, David Bond, Karthik Pandian, and Elena Demyanenko, with Paul Matteson (Amherst College) and Tzveta Kassabova (Middlebury College).

10:00 pm
Open Mic | DownCaf

Share your passion for music, theatre, poetry, etc. and hear what other Bennington students have been working on. A signup sheet will be available outside the Dining Hall throughout the day.

Preparing for the Term | Monday, August 31

8:00 am
‡ Breakfast | Commons Dining Hall

 

8:00–9:30 am
Language Placements | CAPA Symposium

This event will serve as an opportunity to meet with the entire faculty in Languages, while also allowing time for students to be placed at their appropriate levels. Open to all students interested in languages, regardless of experience. Students registered for a language class should plan to attend. Light breakfast provided.

9:30–11:30 am
Meeting with Faculty Advisors | Location noted in your advising letter in your Orientation folder

Your initial meeting with your faculty advisor to discuss your academic interests and review your course schedule.

11:30 am–12:30 pm
Vocal and Instrumental Placement Auditions

See insert in Orientation folder for details and location.

11:30 am–1:30 pm
Open Hours with Academic Services Staff | Barn 120

If you are planning to participate in add/drop and have questions about the process (or anything related to the curriculum), stop in to see your First-Year Advisor or Transfer Student Advisor. Students will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis.

Noon
‡ Lunch | Commons Dining Hall

 

2:00–3:45 pm
Registration Completion (aka Add/Drop) | In faculty offices

Following the meeting with your faculty advisor earlier in the day, you can make changes to your class schedules, as needed, in faculty offices. All students will be provided with add/drop forms, which course instructors and faculty advisors will need to sign in order to add or drop a course from your schedule.

4:00 pm
Convocation | Greenwall Auditorium/VAPA

A community tradition in celebration of the start of the academic year.

5:00–7:00 pm
‡ Dinner | Commons Dining Hall

 

6:30–7:30 pm
Vocal and Instrumental Placement Auditions

See insert in Orientation folder for details and location.

8:00 pm
Student Works Performance (Martha Hill Dance Theater/VAPA)
Visual Art by Students (on display in Newman Court/VAPA)

Samplings of drama, dance, music, and artwork by Bennington students.

First Day of Classes | Tuesday, September 1

8:10 am
Classes begin

 

11:30 am–2:00 pm
Open Hours with Academic Services | Barn 120

Drop in for general settling-in and academic questions. Students will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis.

6:30–8:00 pm
Music Workshop | Deane Carriage Barn

All incoming students interested in music at Bennington are encouraged to attend this great opportunity to meet music students and faculty. Topics will include opportunities for participation, nature of music courses at Bennington, schedules and logistics, and upcoming events.

Save the Date | Important Upcoming Events

Wednesday, September 2

1:00 pm
Drama Forum | D207/VAPA

All incoming students interested in drama at Bennington are encouraged to attend this great opportunity to meet drama students and faculty. Topics will include opportunities for participation, nature of drama courses at Bennington, schedules and logistics, and upcoming events.

1:00 pm
Dance performance by Jean Butler, guest artist | Martha Hill Dance Theater/VAPA

Jean Butler will perform her new duet, this is an Irish dance, created with Belfast-based cellist Neil Martin. This duel unearths Butler’s roots by returning to the relationship between live music and movement. This is not a traditional Irish dance—it has a postmodern sensibility.

Thursday, September 3

5:00 pm
Beyond the Classroom: Student Engagement Through Clubs and Organizations | Commons Lawn

Interested in getting more involved on campus? Representatives from all current student clubs and organizations—as well as a wide variety of local and national nonprofit organizations—will be on-site to provide more info and encourage signups. Registration forms will also be available for students interested in starting their own club.

7:00–8:30 pm
Dance Workshop | Martha Hill Dance Theater/VAPA

This very useful orientation to the dance program at Bennington is open to all incoming students interested in dance at Bennington, no matter what level. Topics will include opportunities for participation, nature of dance courses at Bennington, schedules and logistics, and upcoming events.

7:00–10:00 pm
Drama Auditions | D208/VAPA

Signup sheet located on Production Call Board outside of D208/VAPA.

Friday, September 4

1:00–2:00 pm
Science Workshop | Dickinson 232

For the first of our weekly science workshops, we will have our start-of-term get-together. This is a great opportunity for incoming students to connect with faculty and returning students and to learn about studying science, math, and computing at Bennington. As always, snacks will be provided.

7:00–10:00 pm
Drama Auditions | D208/VAPA

Signup sheet located on Production Call Board outside of D208/VAPA.

8:00 pm
Program Activity Council (PAC) Presents: Bennington Band Block Party! | Commons Lawn (rain location: Student Center)

PAC presents an eclectic array of campus bands, and other entertainment set to the backdrop of the great outdoors. Food, fun, music: the only appropriate way to ring in a new term!

Saturday, September 5

2:00–4:00 pm
Contact Improvisation Dance Workshop with Felice Wolfzahn | Dance Studio E303/VAPA

for beginners

7:00–9:00 pm
Contact Improvisation Jam with Felice Wolfzahn | Martha Hill Dance Theater/VAPA

open to all

Sunday, September 6

1:00–3:30 pm
Contact Improvisation Dance Workshop with Felice Wolfzahn | Dance Studio E303/VAPA

for those with some experience

10:00 pm
Coffee Hour | Your House Living Room

Each house meets every Sunday night for Coffee Hour, a Bennington tradition. Run by House Chairs, Coffee Hour is a time for house communities to gather in their living rooms for academic and administrative updates about the College, to announce upcoming events, to discuss house issues, and to connect before a busy week.

Tuesday, September 8

8:00 pm
Music Faculty Concert | Deane Carriage Barn

Wednesday, September 9

8:00 pm
First-Year S’Mores and Plan Time Capsule | End of the World/Commons Lawn

Now that we’re a couple of days into classes, let’s get back together for a Vermont summer/fall tradition!

Thursday, September 10

7:00–8:30 pm
Auditions for Student Work | Martha Hill Dance Theater/VAPA

Those interested in dancing or choreographing are welcome to participate.

Saturday, September 12

11:00 am
Brunch with Your Orientation Group | Commons Dining Hall

Meet up with your Orientation group and leaders to share stories from your first two weeks at Bennington.

Wednesday, September 16

7:00 pm
Literature Gathering | Franklin Common Room

Join Literature faculty members and upperclass students who study literature at Bennington to learn more about the program.

7:30–9:00 pm
CAPA Leadership Institute Open Discussion | CAPA Symposium

Please join us for an open conversation on the environment with the participants of the 2015 CAPA Leadership Institute, visiting from Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.

‡ Denotes meals that require your Bennington ID.