Your campus email address is the primary way we will communicate with you, so please check it often.


((we can use a prelim schedule on this page when welcome section goes live before May 11, but we'll want this fully ready by early to mid-July))

Fall 2015 | August xx–xx

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 Leaders and fellow incoming students. Be ready for an afternoon of lawn games, campus and Crossett Library tours, and your first question-and-answer session with upperclass students.

Parent Program | 2:00–5:00 pm

2:00–2:50 pm
Panel Discussion: Transitioning to Bennington | Student Center

Dean of the College Isabel Roche 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, such as Student Life and Housing, Academic Services, Psychological Services, Health Services, and Campus Safety.

3:00–4:00 pm
“Abstraction: Modern Masters of the Bennington Collection” | Usdan Gallery, VAPA

Parents and families will walk over to the Usdan Gallery in VAPA for a tour of our latest exhibition with visual arts faculty member Andrew Spence.

4:00 pm
Parent Send-Off | Usdan Gallery, VAPA

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

5:30 pm
New Student Orientation Welcome | Student Center

Dean of the College Isabel Roche, Associate Dean of the College Duncan Dobbelmann, and Assistant Director for Academic Services and First-Year Advisor Kate Child will add their welcome to 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
What is Community? | An assigned house living room

An open discussion with your Orientation Group and student leaders about community living and standards at Bennington.

9:00 pm
In the Place Where You Live and Street Games | Individual houses

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

Understanding Bennington | Saturday, August 29

8:30 am
‡ Breakfast | Commons Dining Hall

10:00 am
Conversation with President and Dean of the College | Usdan Gallery, VAPA

Participate in a conversation with your peers, the president, and the dean of the college about education at Bennington.

11:00 am
Field Work Term (FWT) | Tishman Lecture Hall

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 the 2015 FWT, 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

(Optional) Join CAPA students, faculty, and fellows in the Purple room to learn more about what goes on in the Center for the Advancement of Public Action, what students and faculty have been working on, and how to get involved.

Noon | Transfer Students
Transfer Student Lunch | Cricket Hill Barn

Transfer students will join Associate Dean of the College Duncan Dobbelmann, Assistant Dean of Academic Services Laurie Kobik, 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 | Tishman Lecture Hall

An opportunity to learn more about on-campus employment and to 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. Director of Field Work Term and Career Development Erica Walsh, Director of Financial Aid Heather Clifford, and Assistant Director of Academic Services Kate Child will be on hand to answer questions.

1:30 pm
Sexual Health and Wellness at Bennington | Student Center

Student representatives from Sexual Wellness Advocacy Group (SWAG) and Bennington Wellness Group (BeWell) will share information about sexual health and wellness at Bennington followed by a presentation on consent, campus, local, and national resources.

3:00 pm
“Fireside” chats with Faculty | Locations in your Orientation folder

An informal conversation with two Bennington faculty members. How do things work here? What is this thing called “the Plan Process?” What is the role of faculty advisors?

5:00 pm
‡ Dinner | Commons Dining Hall

6:15 pm
Q & A with Kate and Cat | Tishman Lecture Hall

By this time you may have some pressing questions and we’ll do our best to answer them! Followed by a first-year survey.

7:45 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 in 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 Dean of the College Duncan Dobbelmann, invited faculty members Kitty Brazelton, Mary Lum, Stephen Shapiro, and Betsy Sherman will make brief presentations relating this question to their own work.

10:30 pm
Bennington Myths and Legends | End of the World, Commons Lawn

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

Settling In | Sunday, August 30, Returning student check-in

8:00 am
‡ Breakfast | Commons Dining Hall

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

After enjoying a morning of sleeping in, enjoying the trails around campus, or unpacking, join your Orientation Leaders for brunch. This is a time to ask lingering questions, go over the drop/add process, and prepare for your Faculty Workshop in the afternoon.

Noon–12:50 pm
Everything You Always Wanted to Know… about Health and Safety at Bennington | Student Center

A panel discussion of resources, services, and expectations at Bennington. Director of Campus Safety Ken Collamore, Director of Health Services Dr. Randy Anselmo, Director of Community Standards Michael Cohen, Director of Human Resources and Title IX Coordinator Heather Faley, and Acting Director of Psychological Services Dr. April Stein.

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

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 on Friday in individual houses. 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 Representatives from Student Educational Policies Committee (SEPC) | 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 Andrew Cencini, Noah Coburn, Elena Demyanenko, Dai Jian, Sue Rees, and Michael Wimberly.

10:00 pm
Open Mic | DownCafé

Share your passion for music, theatre, poetry, etc., and hear what other Bennington students have been working on.

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 Languages faculty, 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 am–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

Details and locations.

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. Students will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis.

11:30 am–1:00 pm
‡ Lunch | Commons Dining Hall

2:00–4:00 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 add/drop forms, which course instructors and faculty advisors will need to sign in order to add or drop a course from your schedule.

4:30 pm
Convocation | Greenwall Auditorium, VAPA

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

5:30–7:00 pm
‡ Dinner | Commons Dining Hall

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

Details and locations.

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

8:00 am
Classes begin

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

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

Save the Date | Important Upcoming Events

Wednesday, September 2

7:30 pm
Going BIG at Bennington | CAPA Symposium

Join in an evening of discovery about what it means to live and work globally at Bennington. Your hosts are members of the Bennington Connects international group and students of CAPA. We will share exciting foods, discuss the ultimate Hillary Clinton quote, and share our experience and ambitions about taking on the world in our education—in the biggest sense. Are you ready to go big?

Thursday, September 3

5:00–7:00 pm
Student Involvement Fair | Commons Lawn (rain location: Student Center)

Interested in getting more involved on campus? Come to the Student Involvement Information Fair. Representatives from all current student groups, and a wide variety of local and national nonprofit organizations will be on campus to provide more info and encourage signups. Registration forms will also be available for students interested in starting their own club!

7:00 pm
Dance Workshop | Martha Hill Dance Theater, VAPA

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

Friday, September 4

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

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

Sunday, September 5

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.

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 pm
Plan Forum Panel | UpCafé

Join faculty members and upperclass students for a panel presentation on how to engage with the Plan Process during your first term at Bennington.

Saturday, September 11

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.

‡ Denotes meals that require your Bennington ID.