Northwestern students worship during orientation.

New Student Orientation

Aug. 18-21, 2017

We’re eager to greet you as you arrive on campus for new student orientation Aug. 18-21. Our orientation staff (O-Staff) are upperclassmen who love Northwestern’s unique community and can’t wait for you to experience it yourself as you prepare for the intellectual, spiritual, emotional and social growth that will happen during your years at NWC. The O-Staff will help make your transition to college life easier through a four-day orientation that includes opportunities to:

  • Meet other new freshmen and transfers
  • Get to know the students in your residence hall
  • Learn about Northwestern's programs, resources and services
  • Gain leadership and team-building skills
  • Worship with other members of the NWC community
  • Visit a faculty or staff member's house for dessert
  • Enjoy the popular O-Show (a Northwestern tradition) and other fun events

Residence halls open at 12 noon on Friday, August 18. Go directly to your assigned hall to move in between noon and 4 p.m. Pick up a key at the check-in station in your residence hall. After you get your key, you can proceed to move in to your room. This window of time will give you an opportunity to get settled before attending the Opening Ceremony in Christ Chapel at 4:45 p.m.

Commuter students should check in at the Ramaker Center.

If you are flying, the closest airports are in Sioux City, Iowa, (SUX) and Sioux Falls, South Dakota (FSD). We provide a free airport shuttle service for new students from these airports during orientation weekend. Please plan your travel according to this schedule. These are the only times college transportation is available:

DateSioux Falls, SDSioux City, IA
Friday, August 18 Noon 1 p.m.

To schedule airport-to-campus transportation, contact Darla Hettinga by Wednesday, Aug. 9, at 712-707-7200 or by email.

All new students and their families are invited to a complimentary evening picnic on the campus green Friday, Aug. 18, followed by a parent program and dessert. There is also a Parent Breakfast Buffet on Saturday, Aug. 19. Please RSVP if you wish to attend any or all of these events.

Parents: Register now


Orientation Schedule

* Orientation events for which attendance is required

FIRST= First-year student
TRNF= Transfer students
PAR= Parents or family members

Click on one of the above colored boxes to display only the calendar items for first-year students, for transfers, or for parents.

Friday, Aug 18

12:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

PAR

Move-in

Residence halls

Welcome to Northwestern! Once you arrive on campus, you may go directly to your assigned residence hall. If you're a commuter student or unsure of your housing assignment, check in at the Ramaker Center. You can pick up your mailbox key and your family can request mailing address information at the campus post office in the Rowenhorst Student Center (RSC). You may also pick up your ID card in the student life office on the second floor of the Ramaker Center. 

2:30 PM

PAR

Campus Tours (optional)

Meet in front of the DeWitt Learning Commons

While your student is getting settled in the dorm, check out the campus that will be his or her home during the coming months.

3:30 PM

PAR

Campus Tours (optional)

Meet in front of the DeWitt Learning Commons

While your student is getting settled in the dorm, check out the campus that will be his or her home during the coming months.

4:45 PM

FIRST

TRNF

PAR

Opening Ceremony*

Christ Chapel

Gather with other members of the class of 2021, transfer students and parents as we welcome you into the community of Northwestern College. We're glad you're here!

5:30 PM

FIRST

TRNF

PAR

Legacy Photo

Christ Chapel

Are you part of a Northwestern tradition? The second, third--even fourth--generation to attend NWC? Then join other Legacy students and their parents for a group photo.

5:30 PM

FIRST

TRNF

PAR

Picnic on the Green

Campus green in front of Christ Chapel

All new students and their families are invited to enjoy a complimentary picnic on the campus green. Don't forget to bring a blanket! Rain location: DeWitt Fitness Center 4-court gym

7:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

Residence Hall Meetings*

Residence halls

If you're a new student transitioning from home to dorm life, this is your opportunity to meet your resident director (RD), resident assistant (RA), and the people on your wing.

7:00 PM

PAR

Parent Program and Dessert

Vermeer Dining Room

Parents and family members are invited to enjoy some dessert while hearing from a panel of faculty, staff and students. There will also be time for you to ask questions of your own.

8:30 PM

FIRST

TRNF

Screen on the Green

Campus green in front of Christ Chapel

Bring a lawn chair or a blanket as we enjoy the movie Moana together on our campus green. Popcorn and drinks will be provided. The movie will start at sunset (weather permitting).

10:30 PM

FIRST

TRNF

Community Time

Residence halls

Your RA has some fun activities planned for the evening, including a late-night visit to the Dutch Bakery in town.

Saturday, Aug 19

7:30 AM

FIRST

TRNF

Continental Breakfast

DeWitt Center Cafeteria

A complimentary continental breakfast is available for all new students.

8:00 AM

PAR

Parent Breakfast Buffet

Vermeer Dining Room

While you enjoy a complimentary breakfast buffet, you'll learn about recent college developments, gain insights on being an NWC parent, and have the opportunity to sign up for our parent e-newsletter. Hosted by the advancement office.

8:30 AM

FIRST

Small Groups*

Campus green in front of Christ Chapel

Get introduced to your First-Year Seminar classmates and O-staff leaders.

9:00 AM

FIRST

TRNF

PAR

Commissioning Service

Christ Chapel

Join your classmates for a time of worship, during which we will commission and dedicate you for your new role as a Northwestern College student.

10:15 AM

TRNF

Transfer Group*

Campus green in front of Christ Chapel

Get introduced to other transfer students and O-staff leaders.

10:30 AM

TRNF

Language Placement Testing*

Van Peursem Hall

You are required to complete this placement test to determine how many--if any--language courses you will need to take.

10:45 AM

FIRST

Small Groups*

Campus green in front of Christ Chapel

Meet with your O-staff leader to take the Language Placement Test and have lunch with your FYS classmates.

11:00 AM

FIRST

PAR

Lunch

DeWitt Center Cafeteria

Meals can be purchased for parents and family members. Adults: $7.75. Children 5-10: $3.88. 4 years and under: no charge.

11:00 AM

FIRST

Language Placement Testing*

Van Peursem Hall

You are required to complete this placement test to determine how many--if any--language courses you will need to take. You will be assigned a time slot between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

11:00 AM

TRNF

Transfer Student Lunch

Meet in front of the DeWitt Learning Commons

Join Julie Elliott, Northwestern's vice president for student life, and her family for a picnic lunch at her home.

12:45 PM

FIRST

Small Groups*

Campus green in front of Christ Chapel

Meet with your O-staff leader to participate together in the afternoon orientation programs.

1:00 PM

FIRST

We Are Northwestern*

Van Peursem Hall

Northwestern prides itself on an academically rigorous curriculum. Join faculty, staff, alumni and O-staff to hear their stories and get advice on how to succeed at NWC.

2:15 PM

FIRST

Navigating Northwestern*

DeWitt Fitness Center 4-court gym

Learn how to handle classroom technology, campus resources and interpersonal relationships through this experiential session that will include team builders, tutorials and an awesome scavenger hunt.

5:15 PM

FIRST

TRNF

Picnic with President Christy

President Christy's home (106 Martin Dr.)

Join President Greg Christy and his wife, Michelle, at their home for a picnic dinner. Wear your lanyard. It will serve as your meal ticket. Parking is limited, so students are encouraged to ride a shuttle. Shuttle vans will depart from the plaza in front of the DeWitt Learning Commons.

7:30 PM

FIRST

TRNF

Games on the Green

Campus green in front of Christ Chapel

Let off some steam by taking part in some fun on the campus green. We'll have Ultimate Frisbee and several other games to help you get to know each other.

10:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

O-Prov

Allen Theatre, DeWitt Theatre Arts Center

Share in the fun and laughter with Northwestern's hilarious improv group, Black V.

Sunday, Aug 20

8:30 AM

FIRST

TRNF

Sunday Morning Worship

Local churches

You're invited to join our student leaders in attending a local church. Each residence hall will have an option available for attending a church service together. If you would like to attend a different service, a list of churches and service times will be made available to you.

11:30 AM

FIRST

TRNF

Sunday Brunch

DeWitt Center Cafeteria

1:45 PM

FIRST

Dessert with Your First-Year Seminar Professor*

Meet in front of the DeWitt Learning Commons

Meet with your small group and head over to your First-Year Seminar (FYS) professor's home to enjoy dessert together. This is a great way to get to know your FYS instructor—and most likely won't be the last time an NWC professor, coach or other mentor invites you over.

1:45 PM

TRNF

Dessert at Faculty/Staff Homes*

Meet in front of the DeWitt Learning Commons

Meet with your small group and head over to a faculty of staff member's home to enjoy dessert together. This is a great way to get to know some of the people who work at Northwestern—and most likely won't be the last time an NWC professor, coach or other mentor invites you over.

3:30 PM

FIRST

TRNF

Walmart Shuttle

Rowenhorst Student Center parking lot

We will offer a complimentary shuttle to Walmart in Sioux Center every half hour from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Return shuttles from Walmart back to campus are scheduled for 4:15, 4:45, 5:15 and 6 p.m.

5:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

Dinner

DeWitt Center Cafeteria

7:30 PM

FIRST

TRNF

O-Show: Opening Night

England Theatre, DeWitt Theatre Arts Center

Get to know your college through this show about the thrills, chills and spills of life at Northwestern, starring the O-Staff.

9:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

Praise & Worship Candlelight Service

Plaza by the DeWitt Learning Commons

Join us for the first Sunday Night Praise & Worship (P&W) of the school year. There will be a prayer dedication and a special candle-lighting ceremony.

10:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

Capture the Flag

Campus green in front of Christ Chapel

Following P&W, join the O-Staff in a large game of Capture the Flag on campus.

Monday, Aug 21

7:00 AM

FIRST

TRNF

Breakfast

DeWitt Center Cafeteria

8:30 AM

FIRST

TRNF

The Academic Endeavor*

Christ Chapel

Academics can be the hardest part of college. This session will prepare you for a successful academic career at Northwestern.

9:00 AM

FIRST

TRNF

Department Meetings by Major*

To be announced

Meet other students and professors from your department and enjoy lively conversation.

10:00 AM

FIRST

Freshman Survey*

Van Peursem Hall classrooms

We want to know the class of 2021! This survey provides feedback on the valuable skills you bring to the college experience and some of the challenges you may face as a student.

11:00 AM

FIRST

TRNF

Lunch

DeWitt Center Cafeteria

1:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

Individual Adviser Meetings Available

Adviser's office

Your faculty adviser provides guidance throughout your college years to help you maximize your learning at Northwestern. Individual meetings can be scheduled during this time to make any last-minute schedule adjustments.

2:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

Bodies, Boundaries and Bystander Intervention: Title IX at Northwestern*

Christ Chapel

In this session you’ll learn about Northwestern’s vision for sexual relationships, what we’re doing to prevent sexual assault and misconduct on campus, and what you can do to help make this a safe place to learn and grow.

3:30 PM

TRNF

Transfer Student Blue Bunny Run

Meet in plaza in front of the DeWitt Learning Commons

Visit the "Ice Cream Capital of the World" for some free ice cream! Meet at the plaza in front of the DeWitt Learning Commons to catch a ride to Le Mars.

4:00 PM

FIRST

commUnity: Be Together. Not the Same.

Vogel Community Room, DeWitt Learning Commons

As the Apostle Paul wrote in I Corinthians 12, you are now one of many distinct parts—in this case, parts that make up the student body here at Northwestern College. Join us as we begin to explore your value to this community and this community's value to you. This active session will be fueled by you, your peers ... and ice cream!

5:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

Dinner

DeWitt Center Cafeteria

7:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

O-Show: Closing Night

England Theatre, DeWitt Theatre Arts Center

Enjoy the final presentation of the O-Show! (Performances at both 7 and 8 p.m. are open to new and returning students.)

8:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

O-Show: Closing Night

England Theatre, DeWitt Theatre Arts Center

Enjoy the final presentation of the O-Show! (Performances at both 7 and 8 p.m. are open to new and returning students.)

9:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

Acoustic Worship and Prayer

Christ Chapel Stage

Gather together for an intimate time of singing and prayer for the coming year at NWC.

Tuesday, Aug 22

11:05 AM

FIRST

TRNF

Opening Convocation*

Christ Chapel

On the first day of classes, join other new and returning students, faculty and staff for an opening convocation celebrating the start of a new school year.

* Orientation events for which attendance is required
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