ORANGE, Calif. (August 10, 2011) – Summer will soon be over for more than 6,000 Chapman University students, including the entering freshman class of 1,250.  “Move-In Day” for the freshmen is Tuesday, August 23, with transfer students, upperclassmen and graduate students moving back on subsequent days.  Families of the incoming freshmen are expected to begin arriving on campus early in the morning on the 23rd to be ready for the official opening of the residence hall doors at 8 a.m.  

Opening Convocation for freshmen and their families, featuring a procession of Chapman faculty in full, colorful academic regalia, led by a bagpiper, will be Wednesday, August 24 at 9 a.m. in the Hutton Sports Center.  President James L. Doti will welcome the new students and introduce the faculty.  The annual Albert Schweitzer Award of Excellence, to an organization that exemplifies high ethics of service, will be presented, as will the rarely awarded Presidential Medal, which will go to a California broadcasting legend.

This year, Chapman experienced the greatest demand in its history for the 1,250 spots open in the freshman class.  “We had more than 10,000 applications this year, which is a 16% increase over last year,” said Mike Pelly, vice chancellor and dean of enrollment management.  “Chapman is ranked very high in student selectivity in U.S. News and World Report – we tied for #2 in the West this year – so we anticipate our selectivity rating to rise even higher this year.  We had an incredible pool of potential students to choose from.” 

People assume that the increase in demand for admission to privately supported Chapman stems from the problems financially stressed state-supported universities are experiencing, Pelly said.  “But the largest growth in applications has come from out of state and international students, which indicates that Chapman’s rising reputation is the primary reason for our growth.  Although Chapman is more expensive than the state schools, we offer scholarship and aid packages to more than 80 percent of our students and do our very best to assist anyone who wants to attend and is able to meet our high academic standards.”  He added that the average SAT score for freshmen admitted to Chapman has risen every year for the past 20 years – this year it is the highest ever, at 1870.


Snapshot of Freshman Move-In Day at Chapman University – Story Ideas

When:                                                    Tuesday, Aug. 23, officially starting at 8 a.m. (although many families arrive earlier and wait for the doors to open).  Ends at 5:30 p.m.  

Location:                                               Chapman University Residence Hall complex, corner of Walnut Avenue and Center Street in Orange.

Details:                                                  Chapman will provide carts to assist students in moving their worldly belongings from their vehicles to their residence hall rooms.   Water stations, residence hall staff and information booths will assist parents and students during the move-in. 

Orientation:                                           Students and families check in for Orientation after moving in to the residence hall.  Check-in from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Argyros Forum.

Will it be complete??                          Renovation and expansion of Chapman’s Argyros Forum has been going on all summer, in order to turn it into a true student union building. Construction is currently in high gear as the race is on to open it by the first day of classes, Monday, Aug. 29.  The newly renovated Forum will include fast-food outlets Jamba Juice, World of Wings and Einstein Bros Bagels, as well as a Great Hall for student gatherings, study rooms and other amenities. A second phase to be completed by spring will include a faculty club, the Athenaeum.

Food:                                                      A local grocery will set up in one of the residence halls to sell basic food and popular snacks to stock up dorm-room refrigerators.  The Randall Dining Commons in the Sandhu Residence and Conference Center, featuring an open-fire grill, sushi bar, wood-fired pizza station and more, will be serving meals all day.

What Students Bring:                          The average Chapman freshman is fully wired and will bring 8 to 12 pieces of electronic equipment to school, including laptop computers, cell phones, iPods, iPads, chargers, cameras, coffee makers, mini-fridges, TVs and more.  Some students arrive with just the basics; others with vanloads of belongings.  “If you need a U-Haul, you’re probably bringing too much stuff,” said Mike Pelly, vice chancellor and dean of enrollment management.

What Not to Bring:                               Among things not allowed in residence hall rooms: microwaves, hot plates, nails and pushpins, pets (except for fish), candles and incense.

Help for “Helicopters”                         Chapman will offer “classes” for parents during Family Orientation, August 23-24, when parents usually stay in town to attend welcome events with their students.  “You may have heard of the phenomenon of what’s been called ‘helicopter parents,’ the overly involved ones who ‘hover’ around their student and try to help him or her with all the normal university challenges,” said Paula McCance, assistant director of parent relations.  “We find this is a stereotype that’s not really true.  We actually believe that a proper level of parent involvement is conducive to a positive college experience for the student, so we offer classes and programs for parents to assist them in becoming productively engaged with the process.”  Chapman offers a Parent Relations Office, a Parents Association and even a Grandparents Club to help family members stay involved and informed.      

Candlelight Ceremony:                      The traditional Chapman candlelight “History and Traditions” ceremony introduces new students and their families to the history and traditions of the university and closes the family portion of Orientation.  Orange Mayor Carolyn Cavecche and members of the 50 Year Club (Chapman graduates of 1961) will help “pass the flame of knowledge” to new students.  Begins at Hutton Sports Center at 7 p.m. and ends on the lawn in front of Memorial Hall on Wednesday, August 24.   


Complete schedule of Chapman University’s New Student/Family Orientation, Aug. 23-24, is attached.




Tuesday, August 23


7:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Residence Life Check-In

Location: Residence Halls


8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Orientation Check-in

Location: Students – Argyros Forum 209

Location: Families – Argyros Forum 206


8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Parents Council Welcome Booths

Location: Under the red canopies between Pralle-Sodaro & Henley and between Glass & South Morlan Hall

Parents Council members welcome you with cold water, cookies and resource materials to help you and your student get settled into the Chapman community.


4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Parent Reception for New Disciples of Christ/United Church of Christ Students

Location: Wilkinson Founders Chapel, Fish Interfaith Center

Disciples of Christ and United Church of Christ families of new DOC (Disciples on Campus) students will become acquainted with other DOC/UCC families and Church Relations staff, review the DOC Scholarship Covenant and discuss family involvement opportunities.


6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

150 Years of Panther Pride Dinner

Location: Bert C. Williams Mall (Enter in front of Oliphant Hall). Extra seating is available in the Attallah Piazza

Reminder: You MUST wear a wristband to enter any meal during Orientation.

Founded in 1861, Chapman is one of the oldest, most prestigious universities in California. Begin your Chapman experience by celebrating the University’s 150th anniversary and meeting other new students and families over a delicious meal. Welcome to the Panther Family!


8:00 – 9:30pm

Wine and Cheese Welcome Reception for Parents and Families

Location: Sandhu Conference Center

At the end of the day join Dr. Jerry Price, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, and other new Chapman families for some relaxation and conversation.



Wednesday, August 24


7:30 – 8:45 a.m.

Continental Breakfast

Location: Argyros Forum Walkway


7:30 – 8:45 a.m.

Orientation Check-in

Location: Pankey Visitors Center (1st Floor Argyros Forum)


9 :00 – 10:15 a.m.

Opening Convocation

Location: Harold Hutton Sports Center

This traditional event is the formal opening to Chapman’s academic year. Faculty in full regalia march in procession, led by a bagpiper, and President Doti officially launches the semester. Professor Anna Leahy will give the annual “Aims of Education” inspirational address. The Albert Schweitzer Award for Service will be presented and Orientation will officially begin.


10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Making the Transition

Location: Memorial Hall

This session will introduce you to student services that address and promote student safety, health and well-being. It will also explore the role of parents in the college transition process from a variety of perspectives.


12:00 – 12:30 p.m.

Residence Life Family Meet and Greet

Location: Memorial Hall

Families with students living on campus will have an opportunity to meet with professional Residence Life staff, while learning more about the residential community’s mission, services, and expectations.


12:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Parents Council Welcome Booth

Location: Under the red canopy, North side of Memorial Hall

Visit with Parents Council members to learn more about being a Chapman parent, tips on how to best support your college student and how to become involved with the university and the Parents Council.


12:30 – 1:45 p.m.

Chapman Majors Lunch

Location: Bert C. Williams Mall (Enter in front of Oliphant Hall)

Cardinal and grey are the colors we hope to see everyone wearing at this lunch! Meet classmates from your student’s major and their families.


2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Academic Life at Chapman

Location: Memorial Hall

Representatives from the faculty will discuss the foundations of a liberal arts education along with Chapman’s General Education requirements. The Career Development Center will provide an overview of services and highlight how the internship program is designed for all majors to earn academic credit and to help students prepare for a career before they graduate. The Academic Advising Center will guide you through the creation of a student’s academic plan. The Tutoring, Learning, and Testing Center will share how their office assists students. The Center for Global Education will discuss the many study abroad experiences that are available to students as they develop their four-year plan. The Leatherby Libraries will illustrate the different resources available to students for research and study. Finally, Inside Track will explain how their presence serves as yet another support system for students, helping them explore and discover all that Chapman has to offer.


3:15 – 4:15 p.m.

Parent/Student Panel

Location: Memorial Hall

Join current Chapman students and parents to discuss how families can support their new Panther. Learn about the important role that families play in the college experience, discuss what it means to be involved in the Chapman community and, most importantly, get all of your questions answered.

4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

College of Performing Arts New Student and Parent Reception

Location: Waltmar Theatre Patio

Acting Dean Dale A. Merrill, M.F.A, invites new students and their parents to a reception with the faculty and administration of the College of Performing Arts. There will be music, great food and drinks. Don’t miss this opportunity to meet the faculty and Acting Dean of the College of Performing Arts. For questions, please contact the College of Performing Arts Office at 714-997-6519.

4:15 – 5:30 p.m.

Student Services Fair

Location: Chapman Plaza

Have no fear; the Student Services Fair is here! Come mingle with other new students and families as you explore booths representing over 20 on-campus departments. There will also be cool mocktails, Chapman safety whistles and helpful safety tips provided by C.A.R.E.S. (Creating a Rape-Free Environment for Students).

4:15 – 4:45 p.m. / 4:50 – 5:20 p.m.

College Finances by Wells Fargo

Location: Beckman Hall 106

Representatives from Wells Fargo will present a short session on managing college finances.

4:30 – 5:15 p.m.

Greek Life Info Session

Location: Beckman Hall 404

Representatives from the Greek community will discuss fraternity and sorority life at Chapman.

5:15 – 6:45 p.m.

All-American BBQ Dinner

Location: Bert C. Williams Mall (Enter in front of Oliphant Hall)

Join other new students and families for a good ol’ fashioned B-B-Q. Get ready to meet with people from your region and feel free to show your hometown pride!

7:00 – 8:00 p.m.

History and Traditions

Location: Harold Hutton Sports Center

This ceremony marks the conclusion of Family Orientation. Everyone is invited to participate in this program that provides new students and family members with the opportunity to learn about the history and traditions of Chapman University. This year, the University is pleased to welcome back Honorable Carolyn Cavecche, Mayor of Orange, who will be speaking about the history and traditions of the City of Orange. The ceremony will conclude with the 50-year Alumni Club passing on the Flame of Knowledge to incoming students. This event will start in Hutton Sports Center and conclude in the Attallah Piazza.


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