Raider Nation Orientation

Aug. 23-25, 2024

We’re eager to greet you as you arrive on campus for Raider Nation Orientation Aug. 23-25. Our orientation staff (O-Staff) are upperclassmen who love Northwestern’s unique community and can’t wait for you to experience it yourself as you prepare for the intellectual, spiritual, emotional and social growth that will happen during your years at NWC. The O-Staff will help make your transition to college life easier through a three-day orientation that includes opportunities to:

  • Meet other new freshmen and transfers
  • Get to know the students in your residence hall
  • Learn about Northwestern's programs, resources and services
  • Gain leadership and team-building skills
  • Worship with other members of the NWC community
  • Find your classrooms and important campus offices
  • Enjoy the popular O-Show (a Northwestern tradition) and other fun events

Residence halls open at 9 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 23. Go directly to your assigned hall to move in between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Pick up a key at the check-in station in your residence hall. After you get your key, you can proceed to move in to your room.

Commuter students should check in at the student life office on the second floor of the Ramaker Center.

We've reserved Friday morning for you to move in and get settled. Here's some helpful information to make that process easier:


Orientation Schedule

* Orientation events for which attendance is required

FIRST= First-year students
TRNF= Transfer students
PAR= Parents or family members


Friday, Aug 23

9:00 AM

FIRST

TRNF

PAR

Move-in

Residence halls

Welcome to Northwestern! Once you arrive on campus, you may go directly to your assigned residence hall. If you're a commuter student or unsure of your housing assignment, check in at the Ramaker Center. Once moved in, you can do the following:

  • Get your ID card photo taken if you weren't given your card upon arrival (Ramaker Center 2nd floor)
  • Verify student employment forms (I-9). Bring two forms of ID. (Rowenhorst Student Center)
  • Visit the campus bookstore (Rowenhorst Student Center)
  • Pick up your mailroom key (Rowenhorst Student Center)

10:00 AM

FIRST

TRNF

PAR

Campus Tours (optional)

Meet in front of the DeWitt Learning Commons

If you haven’t already seen Northwestern’s campus—or would like another look—join this guided tour led by an admissions ambassador.

11:00 AM

FIRST

TRNF

PAR

Lunch

DeWitt Center Cafeteria

Help yourself to lunch anytime between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. This meal is provided free to guests compliments of the Northwestern College advancement office.

11:00 AM

FIRST

TRNF

PAR

Campus Tours (optional)

Meet in front of the DeWitt Learning Commons

We’re offering a second opportunity to take part in a guided tour of campus, in case 11 a.m. works better with your schedule.

2:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

PAR

Opening Ceremony*

Christ Chapel

Gather with other members of the class of 2028, transfer students and parents as we welcome you into the community of Northwestern College. We're glad you're here!

3:00 PM

PAR

Parent Program

Christ Chapel

Parents and family members are invited to informational panel sessions that will provide answers to questions you may have about your student’s Northwestern College experience.

3:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

O-Groups*

Campus green in front of Christ Chapel

Meet your O-Staff leader and get acquainted with other new students. Freshmen will meet with the students who will be in their First-Year Seminar (FYS) class. Transfer students will meet with other transfer students.

4:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

Residence Hall Meetings*

Residence halls

If you're a new student transitioning from home to dorm life, this is your opportunity to meet your resident director (RD), resident assistants (RA), and the people on your wing.

4:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

Commuter Student Meet and Greet

Meet in front of the DeWitt Family Science Center

If you will be living off campus, you’re invited to meet other commuters and learn about the study space created especially for you.

5:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

PAR

Picnic on the Green

Campus Green

All new students and their families are invited to enjoy a free picnic on our campus green, provided compliments of Creative Dining, the college’s food service provider. If your family can’t attend the picnic, you can enjoy dinner with your resident assistant (RA) and wing mates. Bring your own lawn chairs or blanket.

Rain location: DeWitt Fitness Center 4-court gym

6:30 PM

FIRST

TRNF

PAR

Legacy Photo

Christ Chapel lobby

Are you part of a Northwestern tradition? The second, third--even fourth--generation to attend NWC? Then gather with other legacy students and their parents for a group photo.

7:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

PAR

Commissioning Service

Christ Chapel

Join us for a time of worship, during which we will commission and dedicate you for your new role as a Northwestern College student.

Following the commissioning service, we request that parents say their goodbyes and begin their journey back home. The remainder of the schedule is designed for students only.

8:30 PM

FIRST

TRNF

Screen on the Green

Campus Green

Bring a lawn chair or a blanket as we enjoy the Pixar movie Cars together on our campus green. The movie will start at sunset (weather permitting).

Rain location: DeWitt Fitness Center 4-court gym

Saturday, Aug 24

8:50 AM

FIRST

TRNF

Breakfast

Campus Green

A grab-and-go breakfast is available between the DeWitt Learning Commons and Christ Chapel prior to the start of Saturday’s activities.

9:00 AM

FIRST

TRNF

The Ins and Outs of NWC*

Christ Chapel

Learn the importance of daily systems that help you function at NWC. This session includes information on chapel cards, campus safety, meal plans, and student activities.

9:30 AM

FIRST

TRNF

Blackboard Tutorial*

Christ Chapel

This vital session will familiarize you with the online learning platform Blackboard. Blackboard is what your professors will use to communicate with you about course assignments, expectations, study materials and more.

10:00 AM

FIRST

TRNF

Morning Break

10:15 AM

FIRST

TRNF

Thriving at Northwestern*

Christ Chapel

College can be exciting and overwhelming all at once. This session is geared toward the “unknowns” that come with starting college: study habits, deciding a major, and homesickness.

Note: “Thriving at Northwestern” is optional for transfer students.

11:00 AM

FIRST

TRNF

Lunch with O-Groups

DeWitt Center Cafeteria

To help with cafeteria traffic, your O-Group will be assigned a lunch time. Please consult with your O-Staff leaders about when you are scheduled to eat.

1:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

Major Meet & Greet*

Various locations

Academics can be the hardest part of college. This session will prepare you for a successful academic career at Northwestern and give you the opportunity to meet other students and professors from your department. Please see the back of your lanyard for your assigned room.

2:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

Individual Adviser Meetings Available

Adviser's office

Your faculty adviser provides guidance throughout your college years to help you maximize your learning at Northwestern. Individual meetings can be scheduled during this time to make any last-minute schedule adjustments.

3:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

Free Time

5:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

Picnic with President Christy*

President Christy's home (106 Martin Dr.)

Join President Greg Christy and his wife, Michelle, at their home for a picnic dinner. Wear your lanyard. It will serve as your meal ticket. Parking is limited, so students are encouraged to ride a shuttle. Shuttle vans will depart from the plaza in front of the DeWitt Learning Commons.

Rain location: DeWitt Fitness Center 4-court gym

6:30 PM

FIRST

TRNF

Games on the Green

Campus Green

Let off some steam by taking part in some fun lawn games on the campus green.

8:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

O-Prov

Allen Black Box Theatre, DeWitt Theatre Arts Center

Share in the fun and laughter with Northwestern’s hilarious improv group, Black V.

9:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

Welcome Dance

DeWitt Theatre Arts Center

Shake off any college jitters by enjoying a dance with fellow first-year students in the theater lobby. Snacks provided.

Sunday, Aug 25

8:30 AM

FIRST

TRNF

Sunday Morning Worship at Local Churches

Local churches

You're invited to join our student leaders in attending a local church. Each residence hall will have an option available for attending a church service together. If you would like to attend a different service, a list of churches and service times will be made available to you.

11:30 AM

FIRST

TRNF

Sunday Brunch

DeWitt Center Cafeteria

Enjoy a Sunday morning brunch anytime between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

1:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

Bodies, Boundaries and Bystander Intervention: Title IX at Northwestern*

Christ Chapel

In this session, you'll learn about Northwestern’s vision for sexual relationships, what we’re doing to prevent sexual assault and misconduct on campus, and what you can do to help make this a safe place to learn and grow.

2:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

Navigating Northwestern*

Christ Chapel

Navigate campus with your O-Group by locating all of your classrooms for the fall semester. Additionally, learn the locations and services of important NWC offices such as computing services, the Wellness Center, the Compass Center, and the Peer Learning Center.

3:00 PM

TRNF

Transfer Student Blue Bunny Run

Le Mars, Iowa

Visit the “Ice Cream Capital of the World” for some free ice cream! Meet at the plaza in front of the DeWitt Learning Commons.

3:00 PM

FIRST

Are You Ready?

Campus Green

Have any lingering questions? This is a great time to ask your O-Group leaders anything NWC-related so that you feel 100% ready for your first day of classes.

3:30 PM

FIRST

TRNF

Free Time

5:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

Dinner

DeWitt Center Cafeteria

7:30 PM

FIRST

TRNF

The O-Show

Christ Chapel

Get to know your college through this show about the thrills, chills and spills of life at Northwestern, starring the O-Staff.

9:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

Praise & Worship Candlelight Service

Campus Green

Join us for the first Sunday night Praise & Worship (P&W) of the school year. There will be a prayer dedication and a special candle-lighting ceremony.

Monday, Aug 26

8:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

Mandatory All-Hall Meetings*

Various locations

Join all of the new students in your dorm to learn important information about your residence hall. Ask your RA about the specific time and location for your dorm meeting, which will take place between 8 and 10 p.m.

Tuesday, Aug 27

11:05 AM

FIRST

TRNF

Opening Convocation: Dr. Nate Phinney, vice president for academic affairs

Christ Chapel

Join other new and returning students, faculty, and staff for an opening convocation celebrating the start of a new school year.

Dr. Nathan Phinney


* Orientation events for which attendance is required

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