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Are you ready for your Blugold Orientation?

| Denise Olson

Your Orientation Day at a Glance

We can't wait to see you this summer at your Blugold Orientation! Just to give you one final glimpse of the experience, we've pulled together a sketch of the day and our Blugold pro tips for helping the day run smoothly for you and your family or supporting guests.

First things first: where to park

sunset behind campus footbridge

Orientation visitors are asked to park across the river from main campus in one of two lots on Water Street. The main Water Street lot is across from our Haas Fine Arts Center, and you may use this location pin. A second available lot is located between the Haas Fine Arts Center and the Human Sciences and Services Building, located at this directional url.

From both lots, you will walk toward campus by way of our famous footbridge spanning the beautiful Chippewa River. Along the way, you will see Orientation staff in blue shirts  who will provide directions, if needed, and encouragement for a fabulous day getting to know your new campus. 

Blugold pro tip: Consider arriving in Eau Claire early and staying overnight in Haymarket Landing, our apartment-style residence hall in downtown Eau Claire. Start making connections to other incoming Blugolds at one of our pre-Orientation socials set up for Haymarket lodgers. The rate for Orientation guests is just $40 per night for up to four guests per apartment.

If you did not select this overnight option when registering for Orientation and would like to add this stay to your plans, please contact our staff at and we will add this feature to your account information.

Blu with Student Orientation Staff

Headquarters for the day: Davies Student Center

As you make your way to Davies Center to sign in and receive you Orientation bags, keep your eyes peeled for our mascot Blu — he gets more excited for this day than just about anyone. Grab a selfie with the friendliest bird around!

Blugold pro tip: Check-in is available from 8-8:45 a.m., but we recommend arriving by 8 to give you enough time to have your Blugold ID card picture taken, grab some refreshments, and get a little more familiar with the hub of student activity before you find a seat for the welcome session in the Ojibwe Ballroom.

Divide and Conquer: group student and family/guest sessions

Group adivsing session for orientaiton day in the library

Before lunch, students will attend advising group sessions and family/guest groups will take time to learn all about the many student support services available to form the safety net for new student success.

Blugold pro tip: The most important thing to bring to your Orientation Day is an open mind — truly, it is. An academic advisor will work closely with you to plan your first semester, beginning with a great schedule. Trust in the process and remain open to any advice to branch out and try something new or unexpected. 

Enjoy a Marketplace lunch

A family at Orientation Day

Reconnect with family and guests in Davies Student Center to grab some lunch and talk through your game plan for the afternoon. The rest of the day is all about having your big questions answered, so talk through the main items you want to have covered.

Blugold pro tip: In addition to your course registration session, there will be an array of information sessions and open houses intended to introduce you to service centers, units and facilities that will all make your student life better. You can cover more ground if you split up, so be strategic with your time! 

Drumroll please ... time to register! 

Kim Wellnitz advising student at orientation

It's the moment you've been waiting for and it's all going fall into place for a smooth start as a Blugold. Officially registering for classes is the highlight of the afternoon, but don't forget to use the time before or after your session to hit the open houses around campus. Find out more about recreation or student organizations, whatever interests you have ... or simply explore.

Blugold pro tip: Relax and trust your academic advisor to use their expertise in helping you create the best possible schedule for your first semester as a Blugold. Our Advising, Retention and Career Center is nationally recognized for a reason — our unique approach to advising begins with this first session, and you'll feel right away that you are in good hands. 

And that's a wrap, until move-in day!

Before you leave campus, don't forget to:

  • Take a photo at the 1916 sign.
  • Exchange contact info with new friends.
  • Grab some ice cream (Centennial Room, Davies Center).
  • Tour your residence hall, your new home away from home.