Student Stories

Incoming students take part in unique traditions for Orientation Week

Opening Convocation kicks off Orientation Week; Aims of Education set for Thursday

Members of the Class of 2023 began moving into residence halls on Saturday, kicking off Orientation Week and marking the official start of their unique intellectual journey at the University of Chicago.

With eight days of events and programs, O-Week introduces incoming students to the community of scholars shaping research around the globe, long-held traditions and transformative UChicago experiences, as well as campus resources and academic life in the College.

After saying goodbye to their families, students gathered Sunday in Rockefeller Memorial Chapel for Opening Convocation. This formal welcome to the University community included remarks from President Robert J. Zimmer and Dean of the College John W. Boyer. A bagpipe procession led students through the Quad until they passed beneath Hull Gate, where they were greeted enthusiastically by members of the UChicago community.

Students returned to Rockefeller Chapel on Thursday for the Aims of Education Address, which was presented by Prof. Deborah Gorman-Smith, dean of the School of Social Service Administration. A UChicago tradition dating to 1962, the address features a faculty member speaking to the incoming class about the purpose of a liberal arts education. Following the address, students returned to their residential houses for discussions with UChicago faculty members.

New to O-Week this year was the Futures Design Challenge, an interdisciplinary team competition that awarded prizes to first-years with innovative ideas addressing climate change. The following weekend, all first-year students participated in Engage Chicago, a service event with partners across the city. The Fall Quarter begins with the first classes on Oct. 1.