Champlain College Welcomes Class of 2018

Student Orientation Leaders welcoming the Class of 2018

Champlain College welcomes the Class of 2018 to campus on Friday, Aug. 22 for a three-day orientation. The incoming class of 662 first-year students represents 36 states and six countries.

A full weekend of activities for students and families following move-in includes orientation workshops, a barbeque lunch in the courtyard for family and friends with their students, and the official welcome from Champlain College President Donald J. Laackman. Classes begin for all returning students Monday, Aug. 25.

The formal Champlain College Convocation Ceremony, at 3 p.m. Friday at Roger H. Perry Hall, features a procession of Champlain's 100-plus faculty and staff in full academic regalia led by The St. Andrew's Pipe Band of Vermont. The 2014 Champlain College Distinguished Citizen Award was presented to Mary Alice McKenzie, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Burlington; she is to give an address at Convocation. In addition to McKenzie, the academic welcome at Convocation includes Dylan Cullen ‘17, president of the Student Government Association, and Professor Nancy Kerr, the 2014 Edward Phelps Lyman Professorship recipient for great teaching.

President Don Laackman helping families move in

Saturday of orientation, incoming students will learn about Champlain College's LEAD: Life Experience & Action Dimension program, which focuses on tools and skills for personal growth in four areas—career management, financial sophistication, community involvement and individual values.

The new students will also learn about study abroad programs in Montreal and Dublin, Ireland, Build Your Own Business (BYOBiz), Academic Coaching, personal and public safety, neighborhood expectations, and hear a talk on "Beer Booze and Books."

There's plenty of fun as well, Orientation organizers say, with a boat cruise on Lake Champlain, a night of open-mic entertainment at The Grind (the College's coffeehouse), a class photo on the new Res-Tri Amphitheater Sunday, and visits to local attractions.

Res-TriNew this year is the $30 million residential complex on the northwest corner of campus, a combination of three carefully restored Hill Section Victorian houses, two new dorms that have been open for a few years, and two even newer dorms, just completed in anticipation for students' arrivals. The seven buildings together can house about 460 students and provides them outdoor space, too, with a new amphitheater. Learn more about the project in the Burlington Free Press.

To keep the cap of students on The Hill at 2,000, a number of Champlain College students are expected to spend part of the year studying abroad at Champlain's campuses in Montreal, Quebec; Dublin, Ireland; or one of the four Global Partner campuses.

Champlain has been recognized as one of "The Best 379 Colleges," according to the 2015 edition of Princeton Review's annual publication. The Princeton Review praised Champlain College for its "Excellent professors, innovative classes and an inviting small-classroom environment." Champlain College is also included in the Princeton Review's "Guide to 322 Green Colleges," released in April, which profiles institutions of higher education that demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation.

Last fall, The Atlantic magazine named Champlain College, "The Ideal College"—author John Tierney writes, "Students would acquire training that makes them immediately employable. They'd take courses in the liberal arts that would sharpen their skills in writing, analysis, and reasoning. And they'd graduate with some real-life knowledge, such as how to interview for a job. There'd be no tenure for faculty, but instructors would be made to feel they're valued members of the enterprise. And administrators would constantly ask themselves ‘how can we prepare students for what the world needs of them?'"

Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a small, not-for-profit, private college in Burlington, Vermont, with additional campuses in Montreal, Canada, and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain offers a traditional undergraduate experience from its beautiful campus overlooking Lake Champlain and over 90 residential undergraduate and online undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificates. Champlain's distinctive career-driven approach to higher education embodies the notion that true learning occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. Champlain College is included in the Princeton Review's The Best 384 Colleges: 2019 Edition. For the fourth year in a row, Champlain was named a "Most Innovative School" in the North by U.S. News & World Report's 2019 "America's Best Colleges,” and a “Best Value School” and is ranked in the top 100 “Regional Universities of the North” and in the top 25 for “Best Undergraduate Teaching.” Champlain is also featured in the Fiske Guide to Colleges for 2019 as one of the "best and most interesting schools" in the United States, Canada and Great Britain and is a 2019 College of Distinction. For more information, visit