Orientation introduces an inspiring, collegial community
“This is a family you’re about to join,” Bryant University President Ronald K. Machtley told the members of the Class of 2021 at Orientation. “You’re going to meet some of the best friends you’re ever going to have, and college is going to be one of the most transformational experiences you’re going to have in your lifetime."
“I think my time here will set me up for a great future and I’m really excited about the endless possibilities Bryant has to offer.”
Over the course of Orientation, more than 800 members of the Class of 2021 and more than 600 of their parents began to see President Machtley’s words take shape. Arranged around the theme “A Snapshot of Your Future,” each of Bryant’s four Orientation sessions gave incoming students and parents the opportunity to learn more about the University, bond with one another and experience what life was really like on a college campus.
Making a great start
“Orientation is the first step in a student’s journey as a Bryant Bulldog,” says Mailee Kue, Ph.D., the Executive Director of Bryant’s PwC Center for Diversity and Inclusion and leader of the Orientation planning team. “For both students and their parents, it offers their first real impression of what going to school at Bryant is like – and we want to make sure that first impression is special.”
Every student and parent is different, and each comes with questions and concerns, notes Elizabeth Oluokun ’18, a Staff Coordinator for Orientation. “It’s our job to both give them a wide-ranging look at what Bryant has to offer and to talk to them one-on-one about what their time at Bryant will be like.”
Bryant’s Orientation gave students the best of both worlds, mixing information sessions on coursework, cocurricular activities, and “Bulldog values” with individualized meetings with Orientation Leaders who served as mentors and guides. The students also met with academic advisors who helped them choose their fall courses and consider their academic path.
There were plenty of opportunities for them to build relationships with one another as well, through small group sessions and activities like “Tupper’s Challenge,” an evening of field games that brought the new acquaintances together as friends.
“Orientation’s showed me so much of what Bryant has to offer and it’s gotten me so excited to start in the fall,” says Colton Scholl ’21. “The information sessions have made me much more confident about coming in as a first-year student. I think my time here will set me up for a great future and I’m really excited about the endless possibilities Bryant has to offer.”
“I really like the small groups where you can talk with your Orientation Leader and the other kids,” says Sami Williams ’21. “You get the inside scoop on so many things and our OL has been really helpful.”
“I’m excited to come back,” she adds.
A caring community
The Orientation program also contained a full schedule of activities for parents so that they could learn more about Bryant as well, with sessions that included a look at academics and financial aid, and discussions with the counseling staff about the college transition process. There were also opportunities to meet with senior academic administrators and faculty members.
Jim Limperis, whose son William will attend Bryant in the fall, was impressed with how Orientation outlined the academic process. “They’ve done a great job explaining the curriculum at a high level and then breaking it down into the individual pieces and explaining how they all come together."
For his wife, Brenda, hearing about Bryant’s student-centered atmosphere was another important message. “I couldn’t be more impressed,” she says. “Knowing that my son is going to be taken care of here is wonderful. What impressed me the most over the two days I’ve spent here is that I feel like everyone at Bryant, the faculty and staff and his fellow students, all care about him and that he’s doing well.”