Skip to main content

Orientation - Tuesday, August 27

Orientation First Meeting of the Class of 2019
This is a tentative schedule based on the schedule from last year. It will be updated in May. Please note that the move in and arrival times listed below are accurate for the 2019 Orientation. 
Don't Miss:
  • Arrival and Check-In, 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, Parrish Parlors
  • Orientation Group Kick-Off, 1:15 - 2:15 p.m.
  • First Meeting For All New Students, 2:15 - 3:00 p.m., Lang Concert Hall
  • First Community Gathering, 4:00 - 5:30 p.m., LPAC

Arrival and Check-In

8 a.m.–12 p.m. in Parrish Parlors

Keys can be picked up and move-in assistance is available at each residence hall from 8 a.m. to noon. After moving into your dorm room, please report to Parrish Parlors to pick up your orientation packet. Your key envelope should contain your photo ID; if it does not, please report to the OneCard Office (Parrish 131A) to have one made as soon as possible. From noon to 5 p.m., keys and orientation packets will still be available for pickup in Parrish Parlors; after 5 p.m., they will be available at Benjamin West House.

Swarthmore Campus & Community Store

8:00 a.m.–8 p.m. in the Campus Bookstore

Visit the Store to purchase school and dorm supplies and get the family some Swarthmore swag.

Bed Bath and Beyond Pop-Up shop

8:00 a.m.–5 p.m. in Clothier Patio, next to the Bell Tower

New students, family members, and friends are invited to shop for Bed Bath & Beyond products at this collaborative pop-up.

Student Payroll Drop In

8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. in Shane Lounge, Parrish Hall

If you want to work on campus stop in to Shane Lounge with your parents and meet with the Student Payroll Office to submit your employment forms (W-4, etc.). Bring with you, the Federally required ID documents as detailed on the Student Employment website (

PNC Bank Representatives

8:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. in Shane Lounge, Parrish Hall

For your convenience, PNC Bank will be on campus during move-in on 8/28 to help you open your student checking account. PNC Bank’s Student Virtual Wallet checking account has many great features, including no minimum balance and no monthly fee for six years. PNC’s Swarthmore branch is located right up the street from campus, less than a quarter mile away. To open an account, a student will need two forms of ID and their social security number. And, students who open their account at move-in will receive a Thank You gift.

Computer Help

9 a.m. – 12 p.m. in Parrish Hall, Shane Lounge, & in Residence Halls

Technology helpers will visit the residence halls to assist with tech-support issues and will also be available at Shane Lounge in Parrish Hall and in Residence Hall lounges. Ask your RA or Residential Communities Coordinator for more information on specific hall locations.

Student Disability Services Open House

9:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m. in Parrish West 113 & 123

Meet Student Disability Services staff and learn more about disability services. (To request an individual meeting, email  

Reception for First-Gen, Low-Income Students, Families and Friends

10 a.m.–11 a.m. in Kohlberg Hall, First Floor, Scheuer Room

Please join us for the First-in-Family Reception. Our first-generation and low-income faculty, staff, and students are eager to welcome you and your family.

Recepción para Familias Latin@s / Reception for Latin@ Families

11 a.m.–12 p.m. in Kohlberg Hall, First Floor, Scheuer Room

Una gran oportunidad para conocer y charlar con estudiantes, miembros de la facultad y la administración hispano-parlantes. Please join us for refreshments and meet our Latin@ faculty, staff, and students as well as other families of the Class of 2022.

Meeting for Families of First-Year and Transfer Student Athletes

11 a.m.– 12 p.m. in Matchbox, Third Floor

An opportunity to learn about Division III and what the Swarthmore athletics experience might be like. It will also be a chance to ask any Garnet Athletics questions of the Marian Ware Director of Athletics Adam Hertz. This is not an event for students themselves, but instead is an opportunity for parents and guardians to hear about Garnet Athletics.


11:30 a.m.–1:15 p.m. in Sharples Dining Hall Patio

Lunch is provided for students and family members.

Black Cultural Center (BCC) Orientation Lunch

12:00 p.m.–1:15 p.m. in the Black Cultural Center

Join the Director of the Black Cultural Center (BCC), students, faculty and staff for a lunchtime introduction to the BCC and its ongoing initiatives.

President’s Welcome to Families- Family Session

1:15 p.m.–2:00 p.m. in Lang Performing Arts Center

President Valerie Smith, Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Tomoko Sakomura, and Interim Dean of Students Jim Terhune welcome family members to the Swarthmore College community. 

Orientation Group Kick-Off

1:15 p.m.–2:15 p.m. in Scott Amphitheater; rain location: Science Center Eldridge Commons

Students meet with Resident Advisers (RAs), Student Academic Mentors (SAMs), Diversity Peer Advisers (DPAs), Green Advisers (GAs), who will serve as your Orientation Leaders and will collectively support your transition to life at Swarthmore.

Supporting Our Students—Family Session

2 p.m.–3 p.m. in Lang Performing Arts Center

Meet the directors and deans overseeing support services: Karen Henry ’87, Dean of First-year Students; Alice Holland, Director of Student Health and Wellness services; David Ramirez, Director of Counseling and Psychological services; T. Shá Duncan Smith, Associate Dean for Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Development; Nancy Burkett, Director of Career Services; Michael Hill, Director of Public Safety; Tomoko Sakomura, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs; Nathan Miller, Associate Dean of Students; Rachel Head, Assistant Dean of Students and Director of the Office of Student Engagement, Thomas Alexander Dean of the Sophomore Class & Interim Director the Intercultural Center; & Dion Lewis, Dean of the Junior Class and Director of the Black Cultural Center.

First Meeting for All New Students

2:15 p.m.–3 p.m. in Lang Concert Hall

Dean of Admissions Jim Bock ’90 and Interim Dean of Students Jim Terhune welcome new students to the Swarthmore community.

Family Reception and Farewells

3 p.m.–3:45 p.m. in Lang Performing Arts Center Lobby

The time has come to say goodbye. This event marks the end of the family portion of orientation. Families are invited to meet President Valerie Smith and other members of the administration and faculty at this informal reception.

First Community Gathering

4 p.m.–5:30 p.m. in Lang Performing Arts Center

Begin your Swarthmore experience by reflecting on queries about self, community, and transformation. Queries, an aspect of Quaker tradition, are questions that guide personal and group reflection on community values. We will begin our reflection on self-identity and move towards a reflection on how engaging in community transforms and deepens our sense of self. Several speakers will reflect on these overarching queries:

  • Who am I now, and what are my core beliefs and values?
  • How open am I to being transformed by this community?
  • How will I engage with the conflicts and challenges I will experience internally and in relation to others?
  • Can I see asking for help as a strength? How will I take care of myself and tend to my well being? 
  • Do I understand that I will make mistakes but my mistakes do not make me a failure?

Orientation Group Dinner

5 p.m.–6:30 p.m. in Sharples Dining Hall

Zero Waste Sustainability Kick Off

6:45 p.m.–8 p.m. in Lang Music Hall

Learn more about Swarthmore's sustainability initiatives and our goal to have Zero Waste Orientation!

Evening Activity and First Community Meeting

8 p.m.–11 p.m. in residence halls

Meet your Residential Communities Coordinator (RCC) and take part in your residence hall’s first community meeting. Join up with your orientation group, head back to the hall, and relax!     

Ice Cream Socials

10:30 p.m.–12 a.m. in Residence Halls

Join your residential peer leaders and friends in Alice Paul Lounge, Mephistos Lounge, Danawell Connector, or Mary Lyon for some ice cream and toppings.