Abraham Verghese in, football out, at this year’s New Student Orientation

There will be no football game, but the Class of 2015 can look forward to learning how to pursue all of their passions during this year’s New Student Orientation, scheduled for Sept. 20-25.

The official university welcome and orientation for freshmen and incoming transfer students will offer a variety of programs to introduce new students to the intellectual, social, cultural and leadership opportunities at Stanford.

About 1,718 freshmen and 48 transfers are so far expected to attend NSO this year. Traditional orientation programs include Opening Convocation; Discover Stanford, a program in Memorial Auditorium with Provost John Etchemendy; and Faces of Community, featuring students’ narratives about their Stanford experiences. The Three Books panel discussion, moderated this year by professor Scott Sagan, will take place on Sunday, Sept. 25.

A brand-new NSO program, called the First Lecture, will feature a talk by author and School of Medicine Professor Abraham Verghese, which will be held on Thursday, Sept. 22, at 9 a.m. in Memorial Auditorium. (Community members may watch a live simulcast of the lecture in Pigott Theater.)

Edith Wu-Nguyen, director of New Student Programs in the office of Undergraduate Advising and Research, said the lecture will introduce students to the meaning and opportunities of a liberal education.

“It’s a great honor to be giving the First Lecture,” Verghese said. “Broadly speaking, I want to encourage students to not become too narrowly focused, and to find their intellectual home at Stanford: a place where they feel comfortable, where they can explore all their interests, a place where they read about things that keep them up at night.”