Whether you are a freshman or transfer student, Webster University wants to ensure you are thriving in your new environment. The Office of First-Year Experience and Family Programs provides resources, services, and programs for first-year students and family members of undergraduate students that promote student success.

Gorlok mascot poses with a smiling female student with medium-dark skin tone wearing a black trenchcoat as they stand in the food area.
Gorlok mascot high-five students wearing yellow at the end of the spirit tunnel, consisting of many students standing with hands out to high-five.
A very large inflatable Gorlok mascot is anchored in a green field.
Gorlok mascot poses its arms around two smiling students: a male student with medium-dark skin tone wearing many warm layers and a female student with light skin tone with long blond hair wearing a gray knit cap and fur-trimmed green coat.
Gorlok poses outside with a diverse group of two female and one male student.


Webster University’s Office of First-Year Experience and Family Programs offers a three-step approach to new student orientation to provide you and your family with as much information as possible before the first day of class.

GROW is a way for students to meet other students, become familiar with campus services, and register for fall classes. Every student attending Webster University in the fall needs to attend a GROW event. The Office of Admissions will register students for GROW events and contact them individually.

Webster's goal is for you to immerse yourself in college life so that when you arrive on campus in the fall you can hit the ground running. GROW gives you the opportunity to make friends and become comfortable with navigating the campus.

Come GROW with us as we welcome you to Webster University!

We are excited for you to join the Gorlok family and orientation is the start of the journey. The online orientation is required for all incoming fall-admitted first-year students and is designed to provide you with information about academic resources, campus resources, student life, safety, and much more!

Students and their families will receive an email about the online orientation in the early summer.

If you have questions or need assistance, please contact us at welcome@webster.edu or call 314-246-2598.

This is when the Webster experience really takes off! Taking place in August, orientation weekend encompasses move-in day(s) for resident students and various orientation programs for first-year students. There are a series of activities that provides a jump start to your campus life, allowing you to explore the campus in excitement. We will help you adjust to your new surroundings whether you are a freshmen, transfer or international Student. We can't wait to meet you!

Throughout the weekend, new students will be guided by Orientation Leaders. Orientation Leaders (OLs) are experienced Webster students who assist first-year students during orientation weekend in August. OLs will guide first-year students through the ins and outs of learning about campus, university resources, and getting to meet new people during the most impactful weekend for a new college student.

We know you are excited to start connecting with other students and we are expanding opportunities for you to virtually interact with other Gorloks throughout the summer. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact us at welcome@webster.edu or call 314-246-7007.

Welcome to Webster and Go Loks!

Orientation Weekend

Thursday — August 18

  • 9-10 a.m. Orientation Check-in
  • 10 a.m. Working on Campus — Sunnen Lounge
  • 11 a.m. Study Abroad — Sunnen Lounge
  • 12-2 p.m. Lunch – Marletto's
  • 1-4 p.m. Campus Open House
  • 1-5 p.m International Student Orientation — TBD
  • 2-4 p.m. Campus Tours on the Hour — leaving from the University Center
  • 2-3 p.m BIPOC Roundtable — Sunnen Lounge
  • 3-4 p.m. LGBTQIA+ Roundtable — Sunnen Lounge
  • 4-5 p.m. Commuter Roundtable — Sunnen Lounge
  • 5-6:30 p.m. Dinner — Marletto's
  • 6:30-8 p.m. CHALK WALK — UC Quad

Friday — August 19

  • 7:30-9 a.m. Orientation Check-in and Grab & Go Breakfast — LHC Lobby
  • 9-9:45 a.m New Student Welcome — LHC Mainstage
  • 10-10:30 a.m. Success Squad Meeting 1 — EAB Classrooms
  • 10:45 a.m.-12 p.m. Dean’s Welcomes
    • Science and Health — ISB 160
    • Business — EAB 253/262
    • Communications — Sverdrup
    • Education — Webster Hall 219/221
    • Fine Arts — Loretto Hilton Center Mainstage
    • Humanities and Social Sciences — Sunnen Lounge
  • 12-2 p.m. Lunch — Marletto's
  • 2-3 p.m. Success Squad Meeting 2 — EAB Classrooms
  • 3:15-3:45 p.m. Giant W — Quad
  • 3:45-5 p.m. Success Squad Meeting 3 — EAB Classrooms
  • 5-7 p.m. Dinner — Marletto's
  • 7-8:30 p.m. Glowfest — Sunnen Lounge

Saturday — August 20

  • 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Brunch — Marletto's
  • 1-2 p.m. Success Squad Meeting 4 — EAB Classrooms
  • 2-4 p.m. Webster Feud — Loretto Hilton Center Mainstage
  • 4-5 p.m. Success Squad Meeting 5 — EAB Classrooms
  • 5-6:30 p.m. Dinner — Marletto's
  • 6:30-8 p.m. Blue vs. Gold Final Event — Quad

Students run through spirit tunnel made by students with their hands out.

Learning Communities

The Learning Community (LC) program consists of co-enrolling students in purposefully paired courses in their first fall semester at Webster University. These courses are specifically selected for the learning community and based on a topical interest or an area of academic study. Through these Learning Communities, you will participate in activities inside and outside of the classroom that will enhance your learning and a greater connection to the Webster University community. Ask about Learning Communities during your Gorlok Registration and Orientation Workshop (GROW) to learn more!

Diverse group of students sit on and around a couch in a dorm apartment, posing for camera.

Current LCs

Diverse group of students sit on and around a couch in a dorm apartment, posing for camera.
  • (Re)Building a Life
  • Business Minded
  • Communication is Key
  • Creative Exploration
  • The Pen & the Cape
  • Transformative Educators
  • Social Justice
Ashley Schmied
Webster Connections

“Four years after I was in the Learning Community, I am still good friends with the people who were in it with me.”

Ashley Schmied
Ashley Schmied, Lifelong Learning Learning Community Alum

BA in Secondary Education, emphasis in English, '17

Webster 101

Webster 101 is a course offered to all freshman students registering for the fall semester, and mandatory for Learning Communities. This course helps guide freshman students through the transition into college and teaches new students how to foster independence and responsibility, as well as how to navigate their new college journey at Webster University.

Group of 15 students in two rows all wear yellow shirts and make W shapes with hands; front row kneeling.shirts make

Peer Mentors

Peer Mentors are a select group of upperclassmen who assist all first-year freshman, transfer, and international students with their transition to Webster University. Each student has a Peer Mentor assigned to them to help foster an engaging environment. All Learning Communities are also assigned a Peer Mentor to help create an even stronger sense of community.

Throughout your first semester, your Peer Mentor will be reaching out to offer guidance and support, don’t be shy to ask for their assistance!

Several family members wearing blue and yellow scarves

Family Association

Several family members wearing blue and yellow scarves

As a parent or guardian to a Webster student, you are automatically a member of the Family Association. The association can help families stay active and involved in the Webster community and learn how to better support their student.

Contact the Office of First-Year Experience and Family Programs

Billy Ratz

Billy Ratz

Director of First-Year Experience and Family Programs

Phone: 314-246-7007
Email: ratzwil@webster.edu

Olivia Renkins

Olivia Renkins

Assistant Director of First-Year Experience and Family Programs

Phone: 314-246-2598
Email: oliviarenkins62@webster.edu

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