Summer Orientation


In Summer Orientation you begin your journey through a series of presentations & activities, an immersive (overnight) Residential experience, and other opportunities to examine who you are, what interests you, and learn how you’ll tackle the challenges you’ll face – in college and in life. You will leave here with:

  • A better sense of what makes you, you!
  • An understanding of how you fit in and belong to our community of Maroons!
  • Tools to tackle academic and life challenges and an ability to learn from and push past them!
  • A course schedule you’ve helped create and are excited about!

This event is designed for fall start, incoming freshmen.  Families, there is a programming for you as well!  


Please consider the information below before you register for an orientation session and book travel. Once you have selected a session, it is difficult to accomodate changes.

DATES for SUMMER 2023 are TBA!

Choose from One of the Four Two-Day, Overnight Sessions:
Session #1 - 
Session #2 - 
Session #3 - 
Session #4 - 

Registration:  Students register by navigating to Enrollment Tasks > Freshmen > Register for SummerO where you will be able to reserve your spot for orientation.  Each session can accommodate 125 students.  

Healthy Campus:  To ensure the health and safety of all working and visiting campus, COVID protocols will be implemented.  For the most up-to-date information, visit

Fees:  All lodging and meals are covered for New Maroons as they will be together as a class for their entire stay at orientation.  Lunch Day 2 is covered for family & guests.  Family and guests may purchase additional meals, such as dinner on Day 1 or breakfast on Day 2.  Payment for these meals may be made on-site by cash or credit/debit.  The Roanoke Valley is a destination area, with many things to see and do.  Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge when planning your visit to the local area. 

Attendance:  If you have a conflict that will prevent you from attending, it is important that you contact us at as soon as possible.

Parents, Guardians, Family & Guests:  We encourage you to attend as there is programming especially for parents, guardians, family and adult guests.  However, we also understand that some cannot be away from other obligations at that time of year.  Students should still attend even if their family members cannot.  There are no programs for younger siblings.  For parent/guardian overnight accommodations, please visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge page for information about local lodging, restaurants.

Register for Summer Orientation

RC Usernames and Passwords will be in the postal mail for deposited students starting February 1, then weekly thereafter! 
These are different than Slate accounts.

Visit Enrollment Tasks > Freshmen to Register!

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I bring to the Two Day Overnight Summer Orientation?

  • Photo identification (driver’s license, passport, etc.)
  • Change of clothes (sneakers, light rain jacket, athletic apparel for some activities)
  • Closed toed shoes
  • Sleeping bag & pillow
  • Towel & toiletries
  • Book bag, water bottle, something to write on and write with
  • If you bring a cell phone, we ask that you keep it turned off during all Orientation presentations.

What tasks do I need to complete before June 1?

What tasks do I need to complete after June?  Visit Forms, Links and Lists for a complete list of required and recommended tasks

Do New Maroons have to stay on campus? Yes!  All students will sleep and have meals on campus.  Students occupy one residence hall, sharing rooms with classmates.  Many questions regarding overnight accommodations can be answered by visiting Residence Life and Housing.  If you have a specific question, please call (540)375-2308.

Where will my parent(s) or family stay during Orientation?  For parent/guardian overnight accommodations, please visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge page for information about local lodging & restaurants.

Can I bring my siblings to Orientation?  Accompanied minor siblings are allowed, however there is no program for younger siblings.

How does course registration process work at Orientation?  Don’t stress about choosing classes before Orientation. We are here to help. You don’t need to figure this out before coming. During Orientation you’ll have a group meeting with a faculty member who will walk you through the course options and help you think about what classes you need and want. The normal load is four courses, so we’ll help you make decisions about those courses. You’ll be taking

  • one section of first year seminar (INQ 110 or HNRS 110),
  • a foreign language class unless you place out based upon prior experience
  • two courses to help you find a major or meet another requirement.  

At the group meeting, you’ll hear about options for our first year seminar courses, and you’ll make some choices about which seem most interesting to you. Since you will have completed your foreign language placement test before Orientation, you’ll learn whether you need more language courses to complete the requirement. This will let you make choices about which language to pursue. Most students haven’t settled on a single major yet, so we’ll also talk about how taking certain classes can help you find a major. That is a process that may take you a couple of semesters. After the group session, you’ll have a one-on-one meeting with a faculty member who will help you choose specific courses based upon your interests and needs.

Am I at a disadvantage if I can’t come to the first session?  For many courses open to first-year students, available seats are divided evenly across the different orientation sessions.

Will I be able to see my parent(s)/family during Orientation?  Even though programming for students and parents is separate, you may see each other about campus.  Transitioning to college comes with a lot to see, hear, and think about.  We encourage student and parents to take notes on all the things you learn so when you do get back together many conversations can happen after orientation.

Is there transportation to and from the airport or train station?  Transportation can be provided to and from the Roanoke Regional Airport or the Roanoke Amtrak Station if your New Maroon is traveling alone.  Students can be picked up as early as 8am on the morning of Day One and can be dropped off at the station after 5pm on Day Two.  Please book travel accordingly; it may be difficult to accommodate outside of this time frame. 
Transportation requests are to be send to by June 1.

What happens after June Orientation?  Keep checking your Roanoke College email!  You will be notified of additional information and opportunities, regarding the housing portal, business office, and details regarding August Welcome Week orientation.

What happens in August?  Opening Day is August 27, 2022.  Details regarding move-in process and activities will be sent to your RC email address.

What if my preferred session is closed?  If a session is listed as "0 remaining," please register for another session AND email to get on a waitlist if one of these sessions is your only option.  Session spots will fill on a first come-first-served basis.  If spots become available students will be contacted through their RC email.

R House

Students building an house ("R"House) as part of orientation

Each year Roanoke College builds a house with Habitat for Humanity for a family in need in the Roanoke Valley. During orientation, the incoming students get to participate in building the "R-House." Students receive hands on experience, anything from raising the walls to hammering down the roof sheathing.