Orientation Schedule & Programming

Orientation Traditions

Campus traditions are an essential part of Gettysburg College’s community. Throughout Orientation, you will experience some of these traditions. As you continue at Gettysburg you will find that there are many more traditions that await.

Opening Convocation

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Opening Convocation is the formal welcoming ceremony for students and families, where you will be greeted by the College president, professors, administrators, and fellow classmates.

At the close of the ceremony, you will walk through Penn Hall, signaling your matriculation into Gettysburg College.

At the conclusion of your tenure here, you will complete this ceremony again—processing through Penn Hall in the opposite direction, symbolizing the completion of your undergraduate education.

View 2018 Opening Convocation Photos.

First-Year Walk

Thursday, August 22, 2019

As part of Orientation, you will participate in a tradition tied to our history and unique location. The First-Year Walk recreates the moment from Nov. 19, 1863 when members of the College community—students, faculty, and staff—joined townspeople to walk alongside President Abraham Lincoln to the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery. On that day, Lincoln delivered The Gettysburg Address.

Once there, students listen to a recitation of the address and a guest speaker. A student representative also receives a key to the town from the mayor. This tradition welcomes new students and engages them in the history that intertwines both the College and the town.

View 2018 First-Year Walk photos and watch the video.

GIV Day

Friday, August 23, 2019

GIV Day is the annual community service day held during orientation when students, faculty and staff, work at over 45 organizations in the Adams County community. You can sign up for GIV Day on the First-Year Dashboard.

View 2018 GIV Day photos

Discover more of Gettysburg’s unique traditions.


The full orientation schedule and information about pre-orientation experiences will be posted in early June.