All students in the Humanities Program (registered for HUM 103) are required to take part in the pre-orientation program Sapere Aude, four days of community building, introductions, games, and close reading and discussion of key texts and artifacts with all eight Humanities faculty members, fellows, librarians and archivists and instructional designers.

Our Sapere Aude pre-orientation is a great way to start your Davidson College experience with your Humes cohort and the Humanities Fellows

Humes students can do both Sapere Aude and any of the other pre-orientation programs or take part in any athletic team's pre-season activities. Humes is accessible to all!

Once students are placed in Humes 103, we will reach out with a questionnaire requesting information about other pre-orientation programs and athletic commitments.

Program Dates & Location

  • Program Dates: August 16-19, 2024
  • Location: Holston Conference Center in the beautiful North Carolina mountains

Program Cost

There is no cost. All travel from Davidson to Banner Elk, room, and board expenses are covered by the Humanities Program.

Arrival Information

New Humesters should arrive on campus on the 16th to stow their things in their dorm rooms, except for a small bag and day pack for Sapere Aude.  We’ll board buses for the mountains at around 3 p.m. 

If flights from faraway places can’t arrive on the morning of departure, Friday morning, please contact our program coordinator Susan Archer (

International students should be in touch with both Susan Archer and Sayre Weir ( about arrival times. 

Information for Parents and Families

For new Humesters’ parents and families who are unable to be present for regular orientation, we will hold a parent and family orientation session on Friday August 16th at 11 a.m. in the Carolina Inn located at 215 North Main Street in Davidson, before students depart later in the day for Sapere Aude.  For families unable to travel to Davidson, we will also have a remote zoom info session the evening of Wednesday, August 14th.  Please email Susan Archer ( to be added to that group. You will receive an invitation and zoom link via email a couple days before the session.

This would replace the session for parents and families during regular orientation. 

Follow Us on Social Media

Follow the Instagram accounts for @hum_fellows and @HumDavidson for details and sneak-peek info.