January 11, 2017

Dear Berkeley Faculty & Staff:

It is our pleasure to announce that our new orientation model is ready to launch for our fall 2017 incoming freshmen and transfer students. This Golden Bear Orientation (GBO) has been designed to welcome new students to the UC Berkeley intellectual community, to lay the foundation for fostering students’ intellectual identity and to facilitate a sense of belonging for all incoming undergraduates. Rather than short Cal Student Orientation (CalSO) sessions throughout the summer, the campus will host a week-long (August 15-22) comprehensive orientation for all 8,500+ incoming undergraduates. Unlike past years where students were unable to make the extra trip to the Bay Area over the summer for CalSO, and thus missed out on an important part of their orientation experience, the new GBO program offers all students the same opportunity to participate, and to participate together.

We want to emphasize how vital this work is to the entire campus. That is why we are asking each of you for your cooperation and assistance with Golden Bear Orientation. In addition to opening up your offices and welcoming new students a week earlier than we are accustomed to, we hope everyone will lend their talents and support. One important contribution you can make now is to nominate a student to be a Golden Bear Orientation Leader. GBO Leaders function as mentors and guides for incoming students. This rewarding peer leadership position provides facilitated support towards a successful transition to Cal for our new students. Please complete this simple online nomination form to help identify talented students who will make excellent campus representatives.

To learn more about GBO, including how you can become involved, we would like to invite you to the Golden Bear Orientation Stakeholders Meeting on Friday, January 13, from 10 a.m. to noon in VLSB 2050. If you have any questions, please contact the staff in New Student Services (nss@berkeley.edu).

Thank you for your support and contributions toward making our first Golden Bear Orientation an event that honors the spirit and tradition of UC Berkeley.


Nicholas Dirks


Carol Christ
Interim Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

Golden Bear Orientation Steering Committee: 
Cathy Koshland (co-chair), Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education
Steve Sutton (co-chair), Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Na’ilah Nasir, Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion
Bob Jacobsen, Dean, Undergraduate Studies, College of Letters and Science
Jennifer Wolch, Dean, College of Environmental Design