Fall 2016 | August 26–30

A printed schedule is also provided in Orientation folders at check-in on August 26.

Welcome | Friday, August 26

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 for your Bennington Card, to sign up for your Faculty Workshop, and to 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.

1:00–1:45 pm

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.

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, and your first question-and-answer session with upperclass students.

Family Program | 2:00–5:00 pm
Student Center

2:00–3:30 pm

Transitioning to Bennington

Provost and Dean of the College Isabel Roche will welcome parents and introduce a panel presentation by Dean of Students Xenia Markowitt, Associate Dean of Academic Services Laurie Kobik, and Dean of Field Work Term Holly McCormack, designed to help families better understand the College, its educational structures and resources, and their student’s transition to independent living and college life.

3:30–4:00 pm

After the panel presentation, several representatives from key campus resources including Director of Psychological Services April Stein, Director of Health Services Dr. Randy Anselmo, and Director of Campus Safety Ken Collamore, will be on hand to answer individual questions.

4:00 pm

Family Send-Off | Student Center Patio

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

5:00 pm

New Student Orientation Welcome | Student Center

Provost and Dean of the College Isabel Roche and Dean of Students Xenia Markowitt will welcome the incoming class and kick off the New Student Orientation program.

5:30 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 your house chairs for your first “Coffee Hour” meeting. Afterwards, join your street community for a Bennington tradition.

9:00 pm

Dance Party Featuring DJ Drew | Student Center

Settling In | Saturday, August 27

8:30 am

Breakfast | Commons Dining Hall

10:00–11:30 am

A Bennington Education | Usdan Gallery, VAPA

At Bennington we ask you to inquire, research, create, engage, and communicate. You will have opportunities to strengthen these capacities in the classroom, laboratory, studio, and stage, as well as in your house, within student clubs and organizations, through engaging in the town of Bennington, and in working in the world. President Mariko Silver will lead a conversation about Bennington’s educational philosophy and structures, as you consider what it means to make a Plan at Bennington and how this will serve you as you begin your life’s work.

11:30 am–12:45 pm | TRANSFER STUDENTS

Transfer Student Lunch | Cricket Hill Barn

Transfer students will join Associate Dean of Academic Services Laurie Kobik, Dean of Students Xenia Markowitt, other members of the academic services staff, and upperclass transfer students over lunch to discuss academics and co-curricular life at Bennington.


Lunch | Commons Dining Hall

1:00–3:45 pm | ROTATING SESSIONS

Commitment to Community: Diversity & Inclusion at Bennington | Usdan Gallery

Lydia Brassard, Director of Institutional Diversity & Inclusion, and Michael Thomson, Kilpatrick Fellow for Community Engagement, will meet with new students to discuss the College’s approach to inclusive thought, practice, and collaboration, on and off the Bennington College campus. Students will participate in small groups facilitated by recent graduates, and have a short discussion about the session’s themes.

Q&A on Academic Life, Transitioning to Bennington, and Other Topics | Student Center

By this time you may have some pressing questions, and Kate Child, Director for the First-Year Experience, will do her best to answer them. Followed by a first-year survey.

4:00–5:45 pm

Mapping North Bennington: A Spatial Scavenger Hunt | Individual Houses

Get to know the Village of North Bennington while getting to know your housemates! You and your house will team up to make a map of locations in North Bennington based on historical clues and facts. You will meet some of our neighbors north of the wall and learn about North Bennington’s past and present.

6:00 pm

Dinner | Commons Lawn

7:30–9:30 pm

The Bystander: a one-person play by Tim Collins | Martha Hill Dance Theater, VAPA

This performance broaches the topic of sexual misconduct on campus and the responsibility of community members to not just stand by but to create a campus culture of zero-tolerance and affirmative consent. Bennington’s resources will be shared with you as you meet students, staff, and faculty dedicated to responding to this serious issue.

9:30 pm

Rollerama | Greenwall Auditorium/Petrie Terrace

One of the Bennington College PAC’s (Program Activity Council) longest standing traditions: for one night, Greenwall Auditorium is transformed into a roller rink complete with disco ball! Bring your Bennington ID for free skate rental. Take in the summer Vermont sky with light refreshments on the Petrie Terrace.

Settling In | Sunday, August 28

Returning student check-in today.

8:30 am

Breakfast | Commons Dining Hall

10:00–11:15 am

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 Provost and Dean of the College Isabel Roche, faculty members Nick Brooke, Katie Montovan, and Dana Reitz will make brief presentations relating this question to their own work.

11:30 am–12:30 pm

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

Though conversation with a Bennington faculty member and an upperclass advisee, students will explore more deeply the elements of a Bennington education and talk about how faculty advising works.

12:30 pm

Lunch | Commons Dining Hall

2:00–5:00 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.

5:00 pm

Dinner | Commons Dining Hall

6:15–7:15 pm

Orientation Group Check-In with Orientation Leader and SEPC | Location to be determined by Orientation Leader

Come back together with your orientation group and a representative from the Student Education Policies Committee to talk about academic life at Bennington.

Curious about how to complete your schedule at “add/drop”? Excited to meet your faculty advisor and not sure how to prepare? Want to get involved with academic life at Bennington as a first-year representative on SEPC? Curious about what it will be like to be in seminar style classes or how much time you can expect to spend in the studio if you’re taking a visual arts studio class? This session will help you prepare for the academic term ahead.

7:30 pm

Faculty Works | Martha Hill Dance Theater, VAPA

Featuring the current work of Souleymane Badolo, Ella Ben Hagai, Nick Brooke, Elena Demyanenko, and Brando Skyhorse.

10:00 pm

Open Mic Hosted by the Bennington Songwriters Circle | Downcaf

Share your passion for music, poetry, and the performing arts, 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 29

8:00 am

Breakfast | Commons Dining Hall

8:00–9:00 am

Language Placement Breakfast | CAPA

Incoming students who have been registered for a language class and all students interested in studying a language at Bennington should plan to attend the Language Placement Breakfast. This event will serve as an opportunity to meet with the entire language faculty, while also allowing time for students planning to take a language in the fall 2016 term to be placed at the appropriate level.

Light breakfast provided.

8:30–9:30 am

Vocal and Instrumental Placement Auditions | See insert in Orientation folder for details and location

9:15 am

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. You’ll have this to compare to the Senior Picture taken in the same location!

10:00 am–noon

Interactive Campus Tour | See Orientation Leader for location

Maybe you visited campus your junior year and took a life changing tour with an admissions intern. Maybe you were able to attend BenningtonWorks last spring and tour the campus a second time. This interactive campus tour will be something different altogether! Join forces with another orientation group and visit Crossett Library, Campus Safety, Health and Psychological Services, the new Student Engagement Office, the FWT office and Student Life in the Barn, and the Meyer Rec Barn. We want you to hit the ground running this term, and part of a successful transition to campus is knowing and utilizing your resources. None of us can do this alone and sometimes being independent means seeking out support and guidance.


Lunch | Commons Dining Hall

Noon–1:30 pm

Open hours with first-year advisors in Academic Services | 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. Students will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis.

12:45–1:30 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.

1:30–3:00 pm

Taking Space, Making Space: Enacting Community | Greenwall Auditorium

Our unique living and learning environment not only shapes, but is shaped by each and every community member, student, faculty, and staff. We will take this moment to come together at the beginning of this new academic year to reflect on the community we make at Bennington College. We start together in Greenwall for remarks by President Mariko Silver, and we then move into smaller pre-assigned groups. These cross-constituency groups will meet in 73 locations across the campus. Through a series of questions, groups will discuss individual and collective understandings of, and responsibilities to, the Bennington College community.

3:15–5:00 pm

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.

3:00–5:00 pm

Open hours with first-year advisors in Academic Services | 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. Students will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis.

5:00 pm

Dinner | Commons Dining Hall

6:30–7:30 pm

Vocal and Instrumental Placement Auditions | See insert in Orientation folder for details and location

6:00–8:30 pm

SEPC Presents: Student Works | Martha Hill Dance Theater, Upcaf, Downcaf, Petrie Terrace, Franklin Living Room

An evening of discipline-specific student performances in various locations curated by the Student Educational Policies Committee (SEPC) featuring live music, dance, visual art, literature, poetry, and much more. Full schedule of event times and locations in the new student orientation folder.

First Day of Classes | Tuesday, August 30

8:00–10:45 am

Open hours with first-year advisors in Academic Services | 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. Students will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis.

9:00–10:45 am

Registration Completion (aka Add/Drop) | In Faculty Offices

Starting today, 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.

11:00 am–noon

Convocation | Greenwall Auditorium

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


Lunch | Commons Dining Hall

Now that the year has officially been opened at Convocation, continue the conversation on community started yesterday with fellow students, faculty, and staff as you share a meal together. What does it mean to you to join the Bennington community? What will your unique contribution be? How do you see yourself forwarding the mission of the College? Share your passions and hear what sparks curiosity in other community members.

2:10 pm

Classes Begin

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. Music workshop is a weekly event from 6:30–8:00 pm on Tuesdays.

Save the Dates
Important Upcoming Events

Wednesday, August 31

1:00 pm

Drama Forum | D207 VAPA

All incoming students interested in drama at Bennington are encouraged to attend this important meeting about the productions and upcoming auditions. This is a great opportunity to meet drama students, staff, and faculty and to learn about studying in the Drama discipline in general. Drama forum takes place weekly from 1:00–2:00 pm on Wednesdays.

Thursday, September 1

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 sign-ups. Registration forms will also be available for students interested in starting their own club.

7:00 pm

Dance Workshop: An Introduction to the Dance Program | Martha Hill Dance Theater

This is a weekly meeting place for all faculty, staff, and students of all levels (from first-year to graduates) who have an interest in dance. Please come to meet everyone and discuss studying, creating, and performing in the program.

7:00–10:00 pm

Drama Auditions | VAPA D207

Students interested in auditioning are encouraged to prepare a three-minute, preferably memorized, monologue (details will be explained at Drama Forum on Wednesday, August 31, at 1:00 pm in VAPA D207).

Call-backs will occur over the weekend (September 3–4).

Attending the auditions will be the directors of the student-directed show, Dryland by Ruby Rae Spiegel, the faculty-directed show, August: Osage County by Tracy Letts, and the Directing II student projects. Approximately 45–55 roles will be cast from of these auditions.

Copies of Dryland and August: Osage County are available in the Dance/Drama Conference Room—but must remain there.

Everyone is encouraged to audition, even if they don’t want to be cast but want to experience the challenge of the audition experience.

Friday, September 2

2:00 pm

Science and Math Workshop | Dickinson 232

For the first of our weekly science workshops, students will be participating in a scavenger hunt! 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.

7:00–10:00 pm

Drama Auditions | VAPA D207

7:30 pm

Bennington Block Party | DownCaf Courtyard

Live music, food, lawn games and so much more. A welcome back party hosted by Bennington’s own PAC (Program and Activity Council)!

Saturday, September 3

Noon–5:00 pm

Bennington Garlic & Herb Festival | Camelot Gardens, Old Bennington 
(campus shuttle provided)

Get off campus for a few hours and take part in one of Bennington’s most flavorful festivals! Food trucks, games, vendors and live music fill out the weekend. A campus shuttle will leave from the Flagpole at noon to take interested students downtown. Please note, this is a ticketed event: please visit lovegarlic.com for admission fee information and other details.

Sunday, September 4

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 6

8:00 pm

Music Faculty Concert | Deane Carriage Barn

Members of the Bennington College Music Faculty will perform songs and an eclectic repertoire including classical compositions, jazz, improvisation, and original music.

Wednesday, September 7

9:00–10:30 am

The First 7 | Dining Services, Purple Dining Room

The First 7 Series will meet on Wednesday mornings, 9:00–10:30 am in the Purple Dining Room, for the first seven weeks of the term. Students will read the College’s foundational documents; discuss how to navigate self-directed learning; and meet with key staff members. All are welcome, and new students are especially encouraged to attend. Facilitated by Lydia Brassard, Director for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion. If you plan to attend, please email lydiabrassard@bennington.edu.

7:00 pm

Dance Auditions | Martha Hill Dance Theater

7:00 pm

Music Faculty Concert | Bennington Museum

Members of the Bennington College Music Faculty will perform songs and an eclectic repertoire including classical compositions, jazz, improvisation, and original music.

8:00 pm

First-Year S’Mores and Plan Time Capsule | End of the World

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

Saturday, September 10

11:00 am

Brunch with Your Orientation Group | Dining Hall

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

Sunday, September 11

All Day

The Drama Collective Presents: 24-Hour Plays | Various Locations

Write, produce, rehearse and perform an original theatrical work in only 24 hours? No problem! Join the Drama Collective as a participant or patron in this fast paced and frenetic campus event. More details forthcoming; for more information, email the 
Drama Collective, dramacollective@bennington.edu.

Saturday, September 17

TBD (morning)

United Ways of Vermont: Day of Caring | Various Locations (Meet at Flagpole)

County-wide and campus-wide day of service, in partnership with United Ways of Vermont-Bennington County.

September, 23–25

Family Weekend and All-Class Reunion | Various Locations

Enjoy a weekend of festivities for students, families, friends, and alumni.