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August 8, 2012

New students begin Purdue experience with orientation program

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Boiler Gold Rush, a student orientation program involving about 5,500 new students, this year features a supplemental program for international students and an induction ceremony for all new students.

Boiler Gold Rush International (BGRi) began Wednesday (Aug. 8) and runs through Saturday (Aug. 11). It is designed to help new and transferring undergraduate international students adjust and acclimate to university life and also will help transition them into the one-week Boiler Gold Rush (BGR) program that is Aug. 12-17.

During BGRi, students will temporarily live in one residence hall and be assigned student mentors. Time also will be allotted for them to work with the Office of International Students and Scholars. The programming will include topics on Purdue resources and aspects of higher education in the United States. The small-group format will help new students build relationships with their mentors and with one another.

"We're excited about this new program that will help prepare these students to be successful here," said Joe Potts, associate dean of international programs and director of the Office of International Students and Scholars. "It will connect them before classes begin to other students and the community. Purdue's large international student body enables the university to create a diverse, enriched learning environment for all students. BGRi will help our new international students and strengthen that diversity."

BGRi is a joint effort of the Office of International Students and Scholars; Student Access, Transition and Success programs; and University Residences.

Purdue has the second-largest international student population among U.S. public universities, according to the 2011 Open Door report by the Institute of International Education. The institute also reported that international students and their families contributed $20.1 billion to the U.S. economy in 2010-11, with Purdue international students and their families contributing more than $219 million to the Indiana economy.

Boiler Gold Rush begins Saturday (Aug. 11) with student volunteers helping students move into the residence halls. Students spend the week in small teams as they participate in a variety of activities.

Among those activities is the New Student Induction and BGR opening ceremonies at 8:30 p.m. Sunday (Aug. 12) in Elliott Hall of Music.

"The deans of the colleges and schools, along with the president and provost, will be at this formal ceremony that is intended to preview commencement," said Daniel Carpenter, associate director of Student Access, Transition and Success Programs. "The goal is to acknowledge the beginning of students' experience at Purdue just as commencement formally recognizes the successful completion of their undergraduate career."

Another twist for this year's BGR is the Boiler Up Rally from 9-11 a.m. Monday in Ross-Ade Stadium. The rain location is Mackey Arena. "This expanded program gets students excited about Purdue athletics," Carpenter said.

Also new are mock lectures on Thursday, where students can attend one of five 50-minute sessions by the College of Science to find out what it takes to be successful in some of their large lecture courses.

"With the help of our top student leaders, the new students always enjoy Boiler Gold Rush, but at the same time, every aspect of the program is helping lay a foundation for student success," Carpenter said. "Students at Purdue who participate in these programs have higher retention and graduation rates compared to those who do not."

Carpenter said each of the colleges and schools at Purdue will have new-student welcome programs during BGR.

Other activities during the week include a Get Involved Fair and information sessions about academic life, student life and campus resources. Students also will learn about campus initiatives such as the Common Reading Program.

Current undergraduate students work with Student Access, Transition and Success Programs to plan programming and serve as the student leaders who actually deliver the program.

Writer: Greg McClure, 765-496-9711, gmcclure@purdue.edu

Sources: Dan Carpenter, 765-496-3618, dwcarpen@purdue.edu

Joe Potts, 765-494-5361, jdpotts@purdue.edu

Related website:
Boilermaker Gold Rush agenda