Every year, pre-Orientation programs allow first-years to arrive on campus early, learn about some of Colgate’s clubs and activities, and make friends within the program before their official first-year orientation begins. Here, members of the Class of 2017 talk about their experiences with their respective programs.



Jake Mahr ’17 hosting a radio show

“I moved into Colgate early to attend WRCU pre-Orientation. At the radio station, we learned radio skills, including managing the switchboard and utilizing CD rotations. We also practiced hosting both talk shows and music-based broadcasts. Being on air and hearing your own voice through the headphones and monitors for the first time is simultaneously a unique and strange experience, but it gave me the confidence to be myself and speak my mind. Our walks downtown let us experience Hamilton and helped us all to form solid friendships.”
Jake Mahr ’17 (Manhattan Beach, CA)


Wilderness Adventure

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Caroline Hurwitz ’17 (left) in the midst of caving

“My Wilderness Adventure program was a six-day caving trip. Caving is a physically taxing endeavor, that would have been incredibly overwhelming if I didn’t have my group members alongside me, giving me a literal and emotional leg up. Mentally, it’s really important to hear ‘you can do it’ when army-crawling through a cave, and having eight people encouraging me and pushing me forward gave me confidence in my physical and mental strength. It empowered me right before entering my freshman year, a time of vast uncertainty. It also created an environment of congeniality and respect among our group, since we were all watching each other overcome challenges on a daily basis.”
Caroline Hurwitz ’17 (Aurora, OH)


Pep Band

Masque & Triangle Pre-Orientation group on stage in the Brehmer Theatre

The Pep Band Pre-Orientation group

“I have to say that joining the Raider Pep Band was my best decision since deciding to go to Colgate. The people were so amazing and the music was awesome. Final Countdown AND Seven Nation Army? I admit that I’m already having a better time with this band than I did in high school. They accepted all the freshmen immediately and kept showing us such a great time and filled our days so that we didn’t even have time to feel homesick. They are such amazing people, and I can’t wait for the rest of the year with these guys.”
Luke Musetti ’17 (Damascus, PA)




Masque & Triangle 

Masque & Triangle Pre-Orientation group on stage in the Brehmer Theatre

Masque & Triangle Pre-Orientation group on stage in the Brehmer Theatre

“We arrived for Masque & Triangle, stepping into a fun, immersive collaboration in Brehmer Theatre. Our student counselors introduced us to the Colgate theatre community and the crafts of acting, directing, technical work, improvisation, and singing. Their most valuable contribution was their support as we tried to muster the confidence to perform less than 48 hours after starting the Pre-O. Stepping into our characters’ shoes was a daunting task, but when Friday night arrived and I performed, and as I watched my friends persevere and surpass their expectations, I was proud of the strong bonds that we rapidly formed and thankful for our awesome, welcoming theatre community.”
Jason Alexander ’17 (Rumney, NH)




Meagan Klebanoff ’17 (left) and Emily Zhou ’17 at Wanderer’s Rest

“I participated in the Outreach pre-orientation program at Colgate, because I wanted to make new friends and get to know the area surrounding Colgate through community service. We volunteered in both Utica and Hamilton, with projects ranging from gardening to playing with children to working at an animal shelter. The evenings provided us downtime to eat as a group and create new friendships. It was an amazing experience and a great way to form a relationship with the surrounding community, as well as get to know new people!”
Meagan Klebanoff ’17 (Bethesda, MD)



The Maroon-News Pre-Orientation group

The Maroon-News Pre-Orientation group

“I wasn’t sure what to expect when I signed up for the Maroon-News pre-orientation program. I didn’t write for my high-school paper, but because many of my friends did, I got to see the hard work they put into it. With that in mind, I mentally prepared myself for arguing about the proper use of Oxford commas — it’s never — and whip cracking editors. Instead, I got the opportunity to explore the virtually empty Colgate campus with a group of fun upperclassmen against the backdrop of working on the first issue of the Maroon-News. I’ve had a blast, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone.” — Brian Challenger ’17 (Long Grove, IL)