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New Parent Orientation FAQs

What happens at Parent Orientation? 

During Parent Orientation you’ll have a chance to:

  • Help your student move in.
  • Learn more about the campus resources your student will have to help him/her get the most from student life.
  • Get a richer sense of the way Wheaton integrates faith and liberal arts learning.
  • Meet fellow parents, professors, student leaders, and your student’s residence hall staff.
  • Launch your student into this new stage of life in an exciting, meaningful way.

Do I need to register to attend Parent Orientation?

Parents of all freshmen and transfer students are automatically registered for Parent Orientation.

What if I can’t attend Parent Orientation?

For some, attendance at New Parent Orientation isn’t possible due to scheduling conflicts, distances, or an arrival date earlier in the summer for Passage or fall Athletics. If you’re unable to attend Orientation, please spend some time browsing the Parent Engagement website where you’ll find links to many of the topics and resources available at Orientation. Also, be sure to update your contact information so we can send you the monthly parent e-newsletter. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact us. 

What if my new or transfer student is a fall athlete due to arrive on campus at an earlier date in August?

A letter will be sent to your home, welcoming your student athlete and providing information about his or her move-in date. On the day of move-in, Athletics staff will be on hand to welcome you and assist your student with move-in and attaining student IDs. Limited residence life staff members will be in the residence halls to help families complete check-in forms and direct people around the buildings.

Are younger siblings welcome to attend Orientation events?

The programming for this weekend isn’t specifically geared toward younger siblings, but siblings are welcome to attend.

When should I arrive on campus?

If you are the parent of a music major, international student, MK or TCK student, or the parent of a student participating in the Passage program, plan to arrive on Thursday, August 22.  All other parents should plan to arrive on Friday, August 23.  If you experience a delay and aren’t able to arrive until Saturday, information will be set aside for you in the Student Activities Office in the lower level of the Beamer Center.

Where can I find information on transportation from O’Hare International and Midway Airports?

Several commercial shuttle companies are available for transportation to and from the airports.  Visit Directions and Transportation page for a list of service providers. Mention your connection with Wheaton to qualify for any applicable discounts.

Is a campus map available online?

Campus maps can be accessed at Maps and Directions section of the website. Additional maps will be available at the Parent Orientation Center.

Where should my student and I go first when we arrive on campus?

Begin your time on campus at your student’s residence hall.  Residence hall staff and volunteers will check in your student and help move his or her belongings into their room. After your student is checked in at the residence hall, make your way over to the Beamer Center, lower level, where you and your student can pick up your orientation materials at the Student and Parent Orientation Centers.  The Student Orientation Center is located in the Phelps Room. The Parent Orientation Center is in the Fireside Lounge, across from CPO.

Where should I park?

Temporary, short-term parking will be available in the spaces outside your student’s residence hall. After you’ve unloaded your student's belongings, please move your vehicle to one of the parking lots highlighted on this map. Please note that overnight parking of motor homes is not permitted on Wheaton’s campus.

Are meals included in Parent Orientation events?

Students who have registered for a fall semester meal plan can begin using this when they arrive on campus. For early arrival students (music majors, international students, MKs and TCKs, and Passage students), the student meal plan will begin with dinner on Thursday evening. For all other freshmen and transfer students, the meal plan begins with lunch on Friday. Wheaton’s two smaller cafés, Sam’s and The Stupe, will also be open during Orientation.

Special Note: Parents and family members may purchase meal tickets to Anderson Commons at a discounted price in lower Beamer on Friday, August 23, from 9am-4pm. Please note that this is the only time discounted tickets will be available.

How should I plan to dress throughout the weekend?

Dress is casual.

My student will be flying to Wheaton and unable to carry a lot of belongings. Can I ship some of his or her things to Wheaton in advance?

Packages can be mailed to the CPO (College Post Office) address provided to your student. When students arrive on campus, they will receive a notice in their CPO box, letting them know that their package has arrived and is available for pick-up at the CPO window. Contact the CPO office at 630.752.5083 if you have further questions.

What kind of furnishings or supplies should my student bring (or not bring) to Wheaton

The Student Orientation Committee has put together a great list to help you out!

Is there a department store, grocery store, or drug store near campus where my student can pick up supplies?

Mariano's Grocery and Walgreens Pharmacy are within walking distance of campus.  Target and Kohl's are three miles west of campus, and Best Buy and Walmart are five miles north of campus. The closest Bed, Bath & Beyond is in Downers Grove, IL.

Does Wheaton recommend any particular hotels for parents’ overnight lodging?

There are several hotels in the Wheaton area that offer discounted rates to guests of Wheaton College.  Mention that you’re a guest of Wheaton when you book your reservation.  Many of these hotels also offer shuttle service to and from Wheaton’s campus. Ask the hotel about this before booking your reservation if this is a service you’ll require.

Is there a way for me to connect with other Wheaton parents before Orientation?

Our Wheaton Parent Facebook group is a great place to meet Wheaton parents from your region and ask questions or get advice about student life. To find our group, type Wheaton College (IL) Parents 2019-20 in your Facebook search bar and request to join.