Transfer students and the Class of 2023 arriving at Stanford

New Student Orientation begins at Stanford on Wednesday, Sept. 18

Stanford is rolling out its cardinal red carpet on Wednesday, Sept. 18, for its newest residents – first-year and transfer students who will be moving into their new campus homes.

When 1,727 new students – including 1,707 first-year students and 20 transfer students – arrive on campus, they will experience New Student Orientation (NSO), a lively five-day program designed to introduce newcomers to the wide array of academic, intellectual, leadership, cultural and social experiences available to them on the Farm.

Stanford sophomore Kate Frimet, an orientation coordinator on the Approaching Stanford team who has spent the summer helping the university prepare for NSO, said the team couldn’t be more excited about the impending arrival of thousands of new students.

“Their enthusiasm, wonder and experiences are going to infuse this campus with an energy unique to NSO, and I can’t wait to help them settle in and join our community,” she said.

In late afternoon, Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne and other university leaders will welcome new students and their families during the 129th Opening Convocation Ceremony, the formal inauguration of the academic year.

The ceremony, which will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesday in the Main Quad Courtyard, will also feature speeches by Harry J. Elam Jr., senior vice provost for education, and Richard Shaw, dean of admission and financial aid. Will Paisley, a senior majoring in sociology and Native American studies – and a Spanish minor – in the School of Humanities and Sciences, will give the student address.

After Opening Convocation, the new students and their families will make their way to student residence halls for “Welcome Home” events with dormmates and residential staff.

The families of the new students are also invited to spend Wednesday on campus. Student community centers are opening their doors to the visitors, and students will lead walking tours of the Farm in English and in Spanish. The visitors are also invited to join Provost Persis Drell for a casual dinner, which will feature an address by the provost and a performance by a student group.

New Student Orientation continues Thursday with signature Stanford events, including Discover Stanford and Three Books, a two-hour event that will open with Drell and Elam discussing the purpose of a liberal education, and offering guidance and perspective to the new students.

The event will include a roundtable discussion of the three books Stanford chose as summer reading for the new students. Sarah Billington, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, will moderate the discussion with Tommy Orange, author of There There, and Cary McClelland, author of Silicon City: San Francisco in the Long Shadow of the Valley. (An editor affiliated with the third book, The Just City Essays: 26 Visions for Urban Equity, Inclusivity and Opportunity, was unable to attend.)

Stanford has organized a Thursday lunch welcoming 20 new transfer students, a cohort that includes nine military service veterans. During the event, a panel of current transfer students will talk about their experiences and offer suggestions about how the new students can make the best of their time at Stanford.

Meanwhile, first-year students will meet with their academic advisors to learn about preparing for their first quarter. In the afternoon, three Stanford schools – Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences, Humanities and Sciences and Engineering – will hold informal open houses, offering new students the opportunity to meet faculty and learn more about the many exciting academic pathways they could follow.

The new students will gather Thursday evening for Faces of Community, which will feature narratives and performances by students reflecting the diversity of the student body, followed by discussions in residence halls.

On Friday afternoon, the new students are invited to a reception hosted by President Tessier-Lavigne on the Hoover House lawn, an event that will conclude with a class photo.

Students will gather Friday afternoon for Beyond Sex Ed: Consent and Sexuality at Stanford, a two-part program that begins with current students sharing personal stories about sexuality and relationships, interspersed with a presentation of how human sexuality fits into our lives, community and culture. Students will return to their residence halls for the second part of the program – a discussion facilitated by residential staff members.

Throughout the rest of NSO, which ends Sunday evening, students can choose from a variety of academic, social, public service and recreational events, including a pool party, Casino Night, Yummy Yoga, and, in an unusual pairing, Sand Volleyball & Ice Cream Social.

Students are also invited to help package more than 60,000 meals to be shipped to schools and families in developing countries. And they will have their first chance as Stanford students to cheer for the Cardinal during two varsity sports events: Stanford Women’s Volleyball vs. Brigham Young University and Stanford Football vs. the University of Oregon.