As we are all aware, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of changes to occur recently. One of these changes has been to turn the summer orientation for the incoming first-year class at Fairfield University into a virtual online experience as opposed to one on campus. Of course, this is not how the Class of 2024 was expecting their official welcome at Fairfield University to be like. However, the Office of Student Engagement has worked very hard to create an informative and worthwhile virtual orientation for incoming students and their families to experience from home. 

Just like a regular summer orientation on campus, there will be multiple sessions that students and their families can choose from, depending on what works best with their schedule. The dates and times are as follows:


Session A- Wednesday, June 17 & Thursday, June 18, 2020 9a.m.-2p.m. EDT

Session B- Monday, June 22 & Tuesday, June 23, 2020 3p.m.-8p.m. EDT

Session C- Wednesday, June 24, 2020 10a.m.-6p.m. EDT


The virtual orientation sessions will be held over Zoom, which is a platform that Fairfield University students and professors became very familiar with when finishing up last semester. 

The associate director of student engagement and coordinator of the orientation program, Marissa Lischinsky, was able to provide “The Mirror” with information on what students and parents/guardians who attend the virtual orientation sessions will experience. 

The following individuals, offices and departments will be present during the orientation and will be heard from, as well as available for questions: Vice President of Student Life Karen Donoghue, Dean of Students Will Johnson, Vice Provost Mark Ligas, Academic Support and Retention, the Office of Accessibility, Campus Ministry, Career Services, Counseling and Psychological Services, Department of Public Safety, DiMenna-Nyselius Library, Dining/Auxiliary Services, Global Fairfield, the Health Center, Information Technology Services (ITS), Recreation, the Office of Residence Life, Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs and the Office of Student Engagement. 

Students and their parents/guardians will also get to meet with representatives from their respective academic dean’s office and will be able to take part in small-group meetings in order to start forming relationships and building a sense of community.

These virtual orientation sessions are not the only resources that incoming students and their families will have the chance to experience. There will also be ongoing virtual engagement opportunities offered throughout the summer. Supplemental sessions will be offered to help students and their families prepare for the transition into college, and specifically into Fairfield University’s community. Gatherings will be arranged for specific groups, such as student athletes, living and learning communities and other groups.  More details and information about these supplemental sessions will be shared following the main virtual sessions in June. 

Despite the untraditional orientation experience that the Class of 2024 will experience this summer, what’s most important is that the students and their families are receiving all of the information that they need in order to feel comfortable and prepared to join the Fairfield University community for the next four years and beyond. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many things to change and be impacted, but the Office of Student Engagement has done their best to make this experience as beneficial as possible for the newest members of our university. 

Thankfully, pending restrictions, Student Engagement is planning on having a welcome orientation for our new students when they are hopefully able to arrive and start their Fairfield journeys on Aug. 29. 

About The Author

-- Senior - Communications --

Catherine is from Pelham, New Hampshire. She loves to write, hang out with friends, watch movies, and is a big Boston Bruins fan.

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