The ABCs Of Connecticut College

Dear Class of 2018: Before you arrive in August, we invite you to take a few minutes to learn the alphabet, Connecticut College style.

1. A is for Arboretum

The Arbo, as we call it, is 750 acres of natural beauty. It includes the Caroline Black Garden, a nationally-recognized Garden for Peace, and Mamacoke Island.

A is also for Arts, Axolotls, Athletics, the Academic Resource Center and A Cappella.

2. B is for Beach

Ocean Beach, specifically, is a favorite hangout for Conn students, faculty and staff. President Bergeron caught on quickly, taking her first Instagram photo at Ocean Beach.

B is also for Bank Street, Boats, the Blue Camel Cafe and Beauty.

3. C is for Camel

Camels rank among the most unique mascots in the world. Let’s be clear: our Camel has just one hump (it’s a dromedary, not a Bactrian Camel).

C is also for Camelympics, Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock, CELS, the Centers, the CamelVan and “Coasties” — our neighbors at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

4. D is for Dance

Dance at Connecticut College is world-renowned. Students who study dance learn movement technique, dance history, theory, choreography and improvisation. All students interested in dance can participate in high-energy, student-run pop performances like Fusion and Eclipse (see the letter E).

5. E is for Eclipse

Eclipse is much more than a dance show. It’s a celebration of cultural awareness, heritage and history that’s been going on since the 1970s. Each year, alumni from all generations return and fill Palmer Auditorium.

6. F is for Floralia

Floralia is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Music plays from noon to midnight, the Rugby teams compete in second-hand suits and dresses and students wake up at the crack of dawn — if not earlier — to pitch canopies on Library Green.

F is also for Fall Weekend, Fulbrights (29 in five years!) and Festivus.

7. G is for Green Dot

Green Dot, a power-based sexual and dating violence prevention program, has taken campus by storm. Connecticut College is a leader in sexual assault prevention, and the 500+ Green Dot graduates are proof.

G is also for Mr. G’s, the Gong and the Greenhouse.

8. H is for Honor Code

The Honor Code is a big deal at Conn. It creates a spirit of trust between students, faculty and staff, and allows students the opportunity for un-proctored, self-scheduled exams. The Honor Code is the basis for shared governance, in which students have a real say in how the College makes decisions.

H is also for Harkness Chapel, Housefellows and Harris Refectory.

9. I is for Ice Rink

Dayton Arena, our ice rink, is open to all. Groups like Habitat for Humanity and the Skating Team often host open skate nights. Admission is usually free and skate rentals are about $3.

10. J is for Juniors Abroad

Junior year is the perfect time to explore the world, and about half of the Class of 2014 spent semesters, summers and internships across the globe.

11. K is for Katherine Bergeron

Katherine Bergeron, our 11th president, joined Connecticut College in January 2014 and was Inaugurated in April. (You follow @PresidentBergeron on Instagram, right?)

K is also for Knowlton Language House.

12. L is for Laurel Chain

Since 1919, members of the junior class have led the Commencement processional, carrying — you guess it — a chain of laurel. Following the ceremony, the laurel is placed on a nearby hill in the shape of their class year to symbolize that the juniors are now seniors.

L is also for Lorde, the Laurel Walk and the Lyman Allyn Museum.

13. M is for Mamacoke Island

How many colleges have their own island? Mamacoke Island is part of the 750-acre Connecticut College Arboretum and is a beautiful spot for a hike. It takes about 10 minutes to walk to the Island from the Athletic Center.

M is also for the Munchies Food Truck, MOBROC, Mystic Aquarium and Mystic Seaport.

14. N is for Nike

This small-scale replica of the Greek sculpture known as “Nike,” “Winged Victory” or “Victory of Samothrace” is located between Jane Addams and Mary Harkness residence halls. It was a gift to the College in 1939 from Gilbert Lamb, a local attorney.

N is also for New London and the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC).

15. O is for Oreos

Connecticut College made national news in October 2013 when student-faculty research suggested Oreos can be compared to drugs of abuse in lab rats. There wasn’t a news outlet that didn’t cover the story (CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX News all ran stories). The Onion even joined in the fun.

O is also for OVCS (Office of Volunteers for Community Service), Oasis Snack Shop and for our Oscar-winning alum.

16. P is for Pianos

The College recently became an All-Steinway School. Beyond the Music, Theater and Dance Departments, pianos are also located in some residence hall common rooms for students to casually enjoy.

P is also for the Plex.

17. Q is for Queer and Questioning

LGBTQ — lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning — students are at home at Conn. In fact, Campus Pride and Huffington Post named Connecticut College a top LGBT-friendly campus. There are mentorship opportunities and support services available, along with the beloved LGBTQ Resource Center for meetings and relaxation.

18. R is for Robotics

The artificial intelligence and robotics lab in New London Hall is home to a robot colony space. In this controlled environment outfitted with computers and ceiling-mounted cameras, students research artificial intelligence and the control of legged robots.

19. S is for Shain

Shain Library is undergoing a $9.1 million renovation. When complete in Fall 2015, the library will provide more comfortable, usable, technology-rich study spaces. The project will also dramatically improve the library’s appearance and ambience. In the meantime, library services, computer labs and study spaces will remain available — just in temporary, different places on campus. The mantra for the year? “No pain, no Shain.”

S is also for Sunsets, Saplings and the organic Sprout! Garden.

20. T is for Tempel Green

It’s ok to stop and stare. Tempel Green is arguably the most jaw-dropping sight on campus, with clear views of downtown New London, Long Island Sound and beyond. Residence halls line one side of the green and academic buildings line the other, making for an easy commute to class and fun way to watch soccer games out your bedroom window.

T is also for Tansill Theater, the Tunnel (from KB to Larrabee) and Toll House Pie — a classic you’ll just have to experience for yourself.

21. U is for Ultimate

Ultimate (don’t call it “frisbee!”) is one of the most active and competitive club sports, open to all. The team is really, really good.

U is also for Underexposed.

22. V is for The (College) Voice

The College Voice is Conn’s student newspaper. All students are encouraged to write, photograph, illustrate and edit. Some day, you might even end up being the editor-in-chief.

V is also for the Vagina Monologues.

23. W is for WCNI

WCNI 90.9 FM is our college radio station. Student deejay alongside New London locals, faculty and staff. The music choices are eclectic, ranging from classical to rock, celtic to death metal.

24. X is for TEDxConnecticutCollege

Celebrating its third year at Conn, TEDxConnecticut College is an officially-licensed, independently organized TED event run entirely by students. In 2014, speakers included undersea explorer Robert Ballard, Italian journalist Gianni Riotta and Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis John D. Cohen ‘83. Faculty, staff and students, including Mike Wipper ‘17, pictured above, also gave talks.

25. Y is for Yalla Bina

Yalla Bina, the Arabic cultural and language club on campus, organizes multicultural dinners, panels and events. While the club is open to anyone, many of the members are also students in the Arabic Studies Program, which provides opportunities like a summer in Jordan.

26. Z is for Zachs Hillel House

Zachs Hillel House is the newest addition to campus, providing a home for the student Hillel organization. The house is open to all students, providing study space, places to relax and meeting rooms.

Z is also for Zipcar.

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