Student Orientation Offers Information Sessions, Tours—and Guinness World Record Attempt

Issue Date: 
August 24, 2010

The University of Pittsburgh New Student Orientation 2010 “Your Journey Begins Here,” to be held Aug. 24-29, will welcome 4,500 freshmen and transfer students and will include informational sessions, campus and city tours, social gatherings, and ceremonies to educate, entertain, and orient members of the class of 2014 and their families to college life.

Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg and distinguished members of the University community will officially welcome Pitt’s newest students at the Freshman Convocation Ceremony in the Petersen Events Center, from 3 to 4 p.m. Aug. 25. The Chancellor’s Welcome Picnic follows the ceremony from 4 to 5 p.m., giving students and their families the opportunity to mingle with University faculty, staff, and students.

The traditional Lantern Night Ceremony will be held in Heinz Memorial Chapel, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Aug. 29. The Student Activities Fair, from 2 to 5 p.m. that day, introduces the newest members of Pitt’s community to the campus’ more than 300 student organizations. The fair is held in David Lawrence Hall and in Posvar Hall Galleria and Plaza.

Presentations, seminars, and open houses will be held on numerous aspects of campus life, including student organizations, health services, and campus safety. The University Counseling Center Open House will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 24. Several informational activities will take place Aug. 25: “Student Health Service: When, Where, and How to Get Help,” from 9 to 10 a.m.; “Student Life: The Importance of Getting Involved,” from 11 a.m. to noon; and “Get Culturally Crunk! A Block Party Presented by the Office of Cross-Cultural and Leadership Development,” from noon to 1 p.m. All events will be held in the William Pitt Union.

“Pathway to Your Success at Pitt: A Pitt Tradition,” held Aug. 26 in the Petersen Events Center, will have a different twist this year. At 9:15 a.m., accompanied by Pitt’s Pep Band, cheer squad, and dance team, more than 3,000 incoming freshmen will march to the Petersen. The new students will spell out P-I-T-T at 10 a.m. while holding a flashlight for 10 minutes in an effort to break the Guinness World Record for the “World’s Largest Torchlight (Flashlight) Logo/Image Formed by People.” After the attempt to break the record, Pitt Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Patricia E. Beeson will provide an overview of the opportunities for a successful academic journey at Pitt. The program will culminate with students singing Panther fight songs and the Alma Mater.

Among the activities designed exclusively for parents and guardians will be “Campus Safety: What Parents Need to Know,” from 3 to 4 p.m. Aug 24, and “The Art of College Parenting,” a lighthearted educational program, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Aug 25, both in the WPU; and “Educating the Whole Student: What Every Parent Should Know,” from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Aug. 25 in the University Club. Presentations will seek to answer questions and concerns of students’ parents and guardians as well as to provide information on University programs. In addition, parents will have an opportunity to socialize with one other at the Panther Parents Association Information Session from 4 to 5 p.m. Aug. 24 and the Continental Breakfast for Parents from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Aug. 26, both in the William Pitt Union.

Scheduled entertainment and social activities will include an ice cream social, a tropical luau, and “Theatre-oke!” an evening of improvisation, skits, and reenactments of famous film and theater scenes. “Discover Pittsburgh!” from 7 to 9 p.m. Aug. 24 will include a sampling of food from local restaurants and music by local entertainers. “Game and Carnival Night: A Night in the Union,” from 10 p.m. Aug. 25 to 1 a.m. Aug. 26, will feature Monte Carlo games, crafts, and an opportunity to mix and mingle on the WPU’s main floor and in Nordy’s Place, on the lower level. Other events beginning on Aug. 27 and ending on Aug. 28 include “Open Mic Night,” from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. in Nordy’s Place, and “Oakland Teahouse,” from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. in the WPU Commuter Student Lounge. Pitt’s “Music Extravaganza,” beginning at 10 p.m. Aug. 28, will feature karaoke, a dance party, and late-night snacks.

Multiple guided tours of the University and the city of Pittsburgh also will be available. Tours include such landmarks as Pitt’s Nationality Rooms, Heinz Memorial Chapel, Phipps Conservatory, and the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History.

University staff will be available to answer questions and provide information at “Orientation Station,” open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 24-26 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 27 in the WPU’s Lower Lounge. Students will be able to sign up for social activities and find out about programs offered through the New Student Orientation.

For more information or a complete schedule of events, call 412-648-1074 or visit