First-Year Programming

Common Reading Book‌

The Common Reading program is designed to help new students make a successful transition from high school to CWRU life. All new students receive a copy of the book the summer prior to their arrival to campus, and have the opportunity to meet the author at fall convocation.

Speaker at Collegiate Connections mentoring program at Case Western Reserve University

Collegiate Connections

Collegiate Connections is an invitation-only mentoring program that matches first-year students with a student mentor who will provide academic, professional and social support. Your mentor is an important resource as you explore academic programs, research your interests and discover career paths. The mentoring program is a structured experience designed to:

  • Support students academically and socially as they transition from home and high school to CWRU
  • Encourage CWRU community connections with first-year students 
  • Build student confidence and awareness, increasing willingness to ask questions 
  • Help first-year students acclimate quickly to the institution

Sustained Dialogue: Janetta Hammock, diversity program manager; John Killings, associate director of multicultural leadership and programming; Edwin Mayes, director of first-year experience and family programs; and Naomi Sigg, director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Sustained Dialogue

As a collaboration with the Sustained Dialogue committee, Day of Dialogue is a campus-wide dialogue event open to students, faculty and staff. This is an opportunity for participants to share ideas and hear diverse perspectives on critical local, national and societal issues. This annual event also kicks off a monthly Lunch & Learn series designed to provide a deeper dive, with open dialogue, on issues and concepts shared during Diversity 360.

Learn more about Sustained Dialogue at CWRU.

*Photo (from left to right): Janetta Hammock, diversity program manager;  Edwin Mayes, director of first-year experience and family programs; Naomi Sigg, director of the office of multicultural affairs; and John Killings, associate director of multicultural leadership and programming

Case Western Reserve University Mid-Autumn Festival students wearing masks

Asian Mid-Autumn Festival

Each fall, the CWRU community celebrates the Mid-Autumn Festival, a tradition throughout much of Eastern Asia in appreciation of the harvest of rice and wheat. Festivities include eating special desserts like mooncakes, sharing traditional stories, hanging lanterns and appreciating the moon in the sky.

Learn more about CWRU’s Mid-Autumn Festival celebration.

Case Western Reserve University Students celebrating the Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year

Case Western Reserve celebrates Lunar New Year each year, marking the most important social and economic holiday for billions of people around the world. The holiday is tied to the lunar-solar Chinese calendar and was originally observed as a time to honor household and heavenly deities and ancestors. Today, it’s a special time to bring friends and family together for feasting and festivities in China, Korea, Vietnam, Japan, Mongolia and other countries all over the world.

Check out Lunar New Year festivities at CWRU.

Case Western Reserve University students celebrating Holi shirts covered in colored powder


In the spring, Case Western Reserve observes the Southeast Asian tradition of Holi with a celebratory throwing of colored powders. Primarily celebrated in India and Nepal, Holi celebrates the arrival of spring and thanksgiving for a good harvest in addition to being seen as a day used for building relationships through play and laughter.

See how we celebrate Holi at CWRU.