Syracuse UniversityHendricks Chapel


Build Your First-Year Experience

Build Your First-Year Experience is a unique pre-orientation offering for new students coming to Syracuse University each fall semester.  Participating students come to campus a few days early and spend time with fellow new students working with community service organizations in the City of Syracuse.

You will build friendships as you spend three days engaged in projects that benefit the community on the Near Westside of Syracuse.


This page will be updated as Build Your First-Year Experience details are confirmed for August 2017.  For more information or questions, contact Ginny Yerdon at 315.443.5044.

To get an idea of what is in store during the pre-orientation program, here is a SAMPLE schedule:


Between 12 - 4 p.m.

Move into residence hall assigned for the academic year

5 - 6 p.m.

Gather at Hendricks Chapel for program orientation

6 - 7 p.m.

BBQ on quad with other pre-orientation programs

7 - 8 p.m.

Campus Tour with Class Schedule


8 - 8:30 a.m.

Meet in Hendricks Chapel Noble Room

8:30 – 11 a.m.

Central Village Boys & Girls Club (Cook, serve, eat breakfast and interact with youth at club)

11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Lunch & conversation with Paul Nojam at Stone Soup Garden

1 - 2:30 p.m.

Tour of near westside neighborhood and grocery store with Paul Nojam

3 - 4:30 p.m.

Students return to residence halls or Noble Room for relaxing, board games or tour of campus

5 - 5:45 p.m.

Meet at Ernie Davis on campus for dinner

6 - 6:45 p.m.

Reflections and conversation with student leaders

7 – 10 p.m.

Evening activity - i.e, Ice Skating


8 - 8:45 a.m.

Meet in Noble Room of Hendricks Chapel for breakfast

9 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

Volunteer at Rescue Mission

1 - 2 p.m.

Lunch at Jo Li Me

2:15 - 3:15 p.m.

Hendricks for presentation/panel

3:30 - 5:30 p.m.

Students return to residence halls or Noble Room for relaxing

6 - 7 p.m.

Dinner at Panda West

7:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Reflections on day’s activities

9 - 10 p.m.

Evening activity with other Pre-orientation programs



8 - 8:45 a.m.

Meet in Noble Room of Hendricks Chapel for breakfast

9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Meals on Wheels (prep and food delivery)

12:30 - 1:30 p.m.


2 p.m.

Return to residence halls

5:30 p.m.

Meet at Chapel for pizza and debriefing

7 - 8 p.m.

Ice cream social on steps of Hendricks Chapel with all incoming new students

8 - 10 p.m.

The Slice is Right game show in Hendricks Chapel for all incoming new students

Please note this is only a sample schedule.  A final schedule will be posted as details are confirmed for August, 2017.