Hamilton College welcomes the Class of 2023 on Tuesday, Aug. 20, for nine days of Orientation.

After checking in and getting settled in their residence halls, the newest students enjoyed a picnic lunch with their families, then heard from Hamilton President David Wippman, Dean of Faculty Suzanne Keen, Dean of Students Terry Martinez, and Dean of Admission Theresa (Peaches) Valdes. Later in the afternoon they met faculty and administrators at a reception in the Margaret Bundy Scott Field House.

Opening ceremonies began on Steuben Field where members of the Class of 2023 met their Orientation Adventure trip leaders and classmates and kicked off their time at Hamilton with some games.

On Wednesday the students will begin orientation adventure trips that provide a fun and friendly atmosphere for easing new students into college life. The three branches are Adirondack Adventure (AA), Outreach Adventure (OA) and Exploration Adventure (XA).

Hamilton’s AA is an outdoor program featuring more than 20 trips that focus on biking, hiking, canoeing, rock climbing or kayaking at beginning, intermediate or advanced ability levels. All trips are conducted in various locations in the Adirondacks and guided by experienced student, staff or faculty leaders. Students can bike into the heart of the Adirondacks, canoe on Blue Mountain Lake, or go sea kayaking on Lake Champlain.

Outreach Adventure gives students the chance to explore the area surrounding Hamilton’s campus while bonding with eight to 10 other new Hamilton students and two upperclass group leaders. Most OA groups stay together in a community center or church “camping inside” in the area where they are volunteering. Students will be working on projects related to community farming and food justice, refugee populations and youth mentoring, and serving the environment, to name a few.

The newest program, Exploration Adventure, offers students the opportunity to explore a topic about which they are passionate. XA trips are theme- or subject-based while sharing the same goal of OA and AA to create a small-group bonding experience for incoming students. Each trip is led by two student leaders, and many will be facilitated in part by a Hamilton faculty member or administrator. XA boasts a wide variety of trip topics, featuring something for just about everyone – from beekeeping to art in the Adirondacks to journalism.

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