Changes Due to COVID-19

Many of the pre-orientation programs have moved online, or been altered significantly, due to enhanced precautions related to the pandemic. Please check with each program individually for details.

Davidson offers an assortment of pre-orientation programs that allow students to immerse themselves in the Davidson community prior to the start of the academic year.

Each of these programs is intentionally designed to help you find optimal success in acclimating to the Davidson community.

Available Pre-orientation Programs

Bonner Scholars Program

Bonner Scholars apply and are selected in the spring/early summer prior to entering Davidson. Those students will participate in an orientation prior to New Student Orientation. Students, as well as interested family members, participate in activities designed to learn more about the Bonner Scholars Program nationally and at Davidson. Participants also spend time exploring the community, getting to know each other and learning about campus resources.

Bonner Scholars Program

International Student Pre-Orientation

International Student Pre-Orientation is designed to meet the unique needs of incoming international students. U.S. and dual citizens living outside of the United States and all non-U.S. citizens are invited to participate.

International Student Pre-Orientation 

Outdoor Odyssey

The Outdoor Odyssey is open to any first-year or transfer student, and uses outdoor activities such as rock climbing, paddling, backpacking, hiking, mountain biking, and rafting to challenge incoming students and build community before starting classes. Upper class trip leaders coach your group on basic skills as you work together to build relationships and share significant experiences. Participation is open to any skill level. 

Connect with Outdoor Odyssey Leaders

Service Odyssey

The Service Odyssey is an service-focused experience that reflects and enriches Davidson's commitment to develop the spirit of service within each student. The program is designed to build relationships among participants, increase social awareness and challenge individuals to work constructively within a group.

Service Odyssey 


Students Together Reaching for Individual Development and Education (STRIDE) is a peer-mentoring program designed to support first-year multicultural students with their adjustment to Davidson College. STRIDE offers academic, cultural, and social support as well as vital information to aid students in understanding and working effectively within the college community. STRIDE tackles the emotional and social issues that come with attending college as a diverse student while building relationships across the college.

STRIDE Program 

Sapere Aude

Start your Davidson College experience with your Humes cohort and the Humanities Fellows and faculty before others get to campus. Sapere Aude ("dare to know") is the required pre-orientation retreat for students enrolled in the Humanities 103 course "Connections and Conflicts in the Humanities." Students take part in four days of community building and close reading and discussion of key texts and artifacts with Humanities faculty, librarians, and fellows. Students can participate in the Humanities program and other pre-orientation programs.

Sapere Aude Pre-orientation