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Northwestern University

And They're Off: Weinberg Freshmen Learn the Ropes at Orientation Events

Weinberg’s Class of 2013, the most distinguished class yet to enter the College, was welcomed with messages of reassurance and encouragement during a recent Freshman Convocation in Cahn Auditorium.

Both Weinberg Dean Sarah Mangelsdorf and Assistant Dean for Freshmen Lane Fenrich sported attire with purple accents, as did, of course, the a capella group Purple Haze, who performed for the standing-room-only crowd. Peer advisers stood out from the rest of the audience in bright green t-shirts.

Fenrich’s quip-filled talk and similarly reassuring words from Dean Mangelsdorf were geared to provide first-year students with both a warm welcome and a road map to University resources—from freshman advisers, to professors, to peer advisers.

Calling the freshmen “terrifyingly accomplished,” Fenrich pointed out that their collective average SAT scores were the highest of any class to enter the College. They are also the largest first-year class ever, with 2,000 students University-wide and 1,170 in the College alone.

Dean Mangelsdorf told freshmen not to worry if they hadn’t yet decided on a major. “We are here to help you find your way,” she said. “With 2,000 course offerings, you may take courses and end up majoring in things you have never heard of.”

Student Advisory Board Co-President Brian Wasserman echoed that sentiment. "Life doesn't need to be planned yet. There's plenty of time to figure that out." Wasserman went on to encourage exploration of some of Weinberg's smaller, specialized programs.

A step toward such exploration was quickly forthcoming at the Weinberg Majors Fair, held the following afternoon in the Louis Auditorium at the Norris University Center. Booths featuring faculty members and assistants from every department and program beckoned students with lively presentations and information about requirements. Views of Lake Michigan, beverages, and cookies sweetened the event further for the 800 students who attended.

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