Revamped Boiler Gold Rush for new students begins Aug. 18

August 5, 2015  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Boiler Gold Rush, Purdue University's orientation program for new students, will return to a four-day format when it gets underway Aug. 18 for about 6,200 students.

"We're condensing it to four days to give new students a better experience," said Kasi Jones, senior assistant director of Student Success at Purdue and coordinator of orientation programs. "Last year, we went the whole week and it was just too long. We noticed that at the end of the week that the new students and the student leaders were all very tired. We needed to address that. We also wanted to move it closer to the start of the semester."

Students will move in to residence halls Aug. 17-18 (Monday and Tuesday). BGR programming will take place Aug. 18-22, and Aug. 23 will be a free day. The first day of fall semester classes is Aug. 24.

Jones said BGR and Boiler Gold Rush International (BGRi) will remain closely connected. BGRi leaders also are BGR leaders and will continue into BGR with their new students.

BGRi, which takes place Aug. 14-18, is designed to help new and transferring international undergraduate students adjust and acclimate to university life in the United States and help them transition into the BGR program.

Jones said BGRi also has been shortened this year.

New to BGR this year, she said, will be a six-week initiative called Launch to Success.

"We're collecting information on events open to all new students on campus during the first six weeks of the fall semester, and we'll put them all on Boiler Guide. We're encouraging all the new students to go to these events, and we're also requiring the BGR student staff to go with their teams to these events," Jones said.

"Connecting our new students to organizations early will help them feel a part of the Boilermaker community and be more engaged in and outside the classroom."

Jones said faculty- and campus-taught orientation sessions (Boiler Success Sessions), which debuted last year, will return.

"The sessions last year went well and there was a great dialogue with our BGR staff and new students," she said.

Other faculty-taught sessions will include the topics of academic expectations; focusing on the differences between high school and college; academic integrity, student rights and responsibilities; academic success (time management, note-taking strategies); and library, research and information literacy. Sessions led by experts will include campus safety (health and wellness, cautionary driving, bicycle and pedestrian safety, sexual assault, and diversity and intercultural awareness). Sessions led by peers include leadership development, financial literacy, campus technology and self-advocacy skills.

Also returning will be the new-student induction ceremony in Mackey Arena.

"The induction ceremony last year was like a basketball game. The excitement and noise was unbelievable," Jones said. "Mackey Arena is the only indoor venue on campus big enough for the event."

The commencement-like ceremony will feature banners and faculty wearing robes. Speakers will be President Mitch Daniels; Debasish (Deba) Dutta, provost; Mike Young, president of Purdue Student Government; and Beau DeLaet, a sophomore who participated in last year's BGR.

Other BGR highlights include academic preview sessions; a Boiler up rally; the Be Involved Fair; and "We Are Purdue!" a diversity and international celebration.

A send-off celebration on the evening of Aug. 22 will close the BGR program. 

Writer: Greg McClure, 765-496-9711,

Source: Kasi Jones, 765-496-3627, 

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