Parent & Family Orientation: Fall Welcome

From August 17, 2019 to August 18, 2019

Parent & Family Orientation is a time for you to make connections with administrators and fellow parents & families while learning more about the Washington University community.

As you can imagine, your student will be very busy during Bear Beginnings.  We have intentionally built in connections points for students and their families on Saturday, August 17th and Sunday, August 18th.  We encourage you to say “see you later” to your student on Sunday, August 18th.  You student will be busy beginning Sunday evening with limited free time and should be focusing on Bear Beginnings events and preparing for the start of classes on Monday, August 26th.

View video recordings from Parent & Family Orientation 2019 below! 


Move-In Day: Saturday, August 17, 2019  8:30 AM – 4:00 PM

First-year students will be assigned a specific move-in time on Saturday, August 17th in late summer 2019.  We encourage you to spend Move-In Day, Saturday, August 17, 2019, helping your student to settle into their residence hall room and complete off-campus shopping trips, if needed. The day will fly by quickly so please remember to have an early dinner with your student from 4:00 PM – 5:15 PM. Your student is expected to attend a residential floor meeting  from 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM followed by Convocation from 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM.  We invite families to join us for Convocation, a WashU tradition.

Additional details about Move-In Day can be found on the Bear Beginnings: New Student Fall Orientation page.


Convocation: Saturday, August 17, 2019  7:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Convocation is the official academic welcome to the University. Join students, faculty, and administrators at this memorable event as the Chancellor welcomes all new students and families to the university.

We invite families to consider attending one of our welcome receptions or career planning session while your students are busy before heading to Convocation.

Doors will open at 6:45 PM for parent and family seating. Seating in the Athletics Complex for families and guests is extremely limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note, the majority of seating in the Athletics Complex is limited to bleachers and requires the ability to climb stairs. Additional viewing locations with a live televised broadcast of the ceremony are available in Graham Chapel, Mallinckrodt Center’s Edison Theatre, Danforth University Center Tisch Commons, and Simon Hall’s May Auditorium. Guests with small children or mobility limitations, requiring the use of wheelchairs or chairs with back support, may want to consider these additional viewing areas. Families in the additional viewing areas will be closer to the east end of campus where all new students will gather with their families to close the Convocation ceremony.

Additional details about Convocation can be found on the Convocation page.


Parent & Family Orientation: Sunday, August 18, 2019 8:30 AM – Noon

Parents & families are invited to attend a morning welcome including a continental breakfast reception and resource fair.  You will then have the opportunity to hear from your student’s academic division.  Parent & Family Orientation programming will conclude at Noon at the same time your student’s required residential floor meeting ends.  We encourage students and families to take time between Noon and 6:30 PM to share one last meal, make any final trips to the store, and say their goodbyes.  Students will have required events beginning Sunday evening.

Please Note: A free luggage check will be available on Sunday from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM in room 276 of the Danforth University Center.

Please complete the Parent & Family Orientation RSVP form if you plan on joining us for Parent & Family Orientation: Fall Welcome. 

All the resources shared during Parent & Family Orientation on Sunday, August 18th will be made available online for families who are unable to attend.

2019 Bear Beginnings Schedule

When you arrive to campus, you will receive printed versions of the Bear Beginnings: New Student Fall Orientation schedules.

The 2019 Bear Beginnings schedules will be released online in mid-July 2019.


Planning Your Travel for Bear Beginnings

Selecting Arrival & Departure Dates

Families who choose to travel to St. Louis with their student often arrive on Friday, August 16th and depart on Sunday, August 18th.

We know many families are unable to travel to St. Louis with their student.  Please know that if this is the case for your student, they will not be alone.  We have more than 300 student leaders who support Move-In and can ensure your student has a smooth arrival process and is able to get settled before Convocation.  On Saturday, August 17th and Sunday, August 18th, first-year students will be in small groups led by their resident advisors and Washington University Student Associates, orientation leaders, and year-long peer mentors.  There will be plenty of connection points for them throughout the day, including friendly faces to share a meal.

Hotel Group Rates

Drury Hotels has special rates available for Washington University families during Parent & Family Orientation. Stay with Drury Hotels for discounted rates from Friday, August 16th through Sunday, August 18th.
To reserve a hotel room within this rate, reserve via links below.
Drury Hotels in Brentwood: Group Number 2368688
Drury Hotels at Forest Park: Group Number 2368675

Drury Hotels also has special rates available for Washington University families who are helping their returning students (sophomores-seniors) move back in. Stay with Drury Hotels for discounted rates from Thursday, August 22nd through Saturday, August 24th.
To reserve a hotel room within this rate, reserve via links below.
Drury Hotels in Brentwood: Group Number 2368691
Drury Hotels at Forest Park: Group Number 2368674
Pear Tree Inn: Group Number 2368685