The Catholic University of America

Aug. 21, 2013

More Than 950 New Students Set for Orientation

  Orientation 2013
  Students and their families will receive orientation materials and participate in "Doors Opening," a four-day program that helps new students become familiar with the campus.

The Catholic University of America will welcome more than 950 new students and their families on Thursday, Aug. 22, for the start of Orientation 2013.

Members of the Class of 2017 — who include first-year and transfer students — and their families will participate in “Doors Opening,” a four-day program that runs through Sunday, Aug. 25.

The program enables new students to become familiar with the campus, meet their academic advisers, and get to know their residence-hall roommates and neighbors before beginning classes on Monday, Aug. 26.

This year, the University has extended parents’ participation in Orientation events through 4:15 p.m. Saturday. (In previous years, programming for parents ended at 2 p.m.).

Events that day include a session titled “Real World CUA,” which features a video, talks by several CUA administrators as well as skits exploring community standards, expectations, and tough issues and questions that new students may face during their time at CUA.

“I encourage students and their families to attend as many activities as they can so they can make the most out of Orientation,” says Kathryn Jennings, senior associate dean of students and director of campus activities. “We have found that these kinds of sessions are extremely valuable for families who are new to the CUA community.”

With support from Jennings, the 2013 student Orientation coordinators — senior Athena Bernas, a nursing major from Hercules, Calif., and junior Meghan Smith, an English and secondary education major from Bethlehem, Pa., — have been planning both Orientation and the Orientation Extended program, which runs for the first six weeks of the fall semester.

Seventy-six CUA student volunteers are serving as orientation advisers this fall. Dressed in red polo shirts with the CUA logo, they are available to assist new students and their families by answering questions and providing directions to different buildings on campus.

On Aug. 22, Catholic University President John Garvey will address new students and their families at the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center during three 30-minute sessions at 4 p.m., 4:45 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. that are open to all CUA students, faculty, and staff.

Orientation events on Aug. 23 include a welcome from Provost James Brennan, break-out information sessions by individual CUA schools, University life sessions, as well as Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Great Upper Church, at 4:30 p.m.

Weekend activities for the students include movies outdoors, a barbecue, an ice cream social, and excursions to various locales in Washington, D.C.

This fall, Orientation Extended will offer more than 200 programs, and students will have the chance to win prizes. Two winners will have the opportunity to share a meal with President Garvey and his wife, Jeanne.

For more information on Orientation, visit



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