Berry.jpg Among the new faces at Mustang Corral this year will be Bertice Berry, an award-winning author, lecturer, educator and sociologist.

Berry (right) will serve as the keynote inspirational speaker at the three-day, off-campus retreat for incoming students August 21-23.

22282D_018.jpg“Dr. Berry’s message will set the stage for students’ collegiate experience at SMU,” says Megan Green, program coordinator in the New Student Orientation and Student Support Office.

“She will incorporate various messages, including acclimating to college life, taking responsibility for their own lives and others, being one’s REAL self, taking chances and maintaining stability during the transition. She also is known for her ability to make audiences laugh and think at the same time.”

Read the student orientation leaders’ blog about AARO.

22282D_064.jpg Senior Emily Epstein, director of staff and training for Mustang Corral, says the retreat also will include spirit groups of 30 to 40 students, led by faculty and staff. “The leaders will serve as mentors and university contacts throughout the school year,” she says. “In addition, student leaders will facilitate ‘Round-up’ groups of 10 to 12 incoming students, educating them about academic life and SMU spirit and traditions.”

“This summer I am definitely looking forward to seeing all of our office’s hard work pay off and come together in an awesome end result,” Epstein says.

Mustang Corral is the second step of SMU’s orientation process. The first step is Academic Advising, Registration and Orientation (AARO), which begins July 1.

During AARO, students will:

• Meet with an academic adviser
• Register for fall classes
• Spend the night in SMU’s residence halls
• Meet current SMU students, known as AARO leaders
• Meet fellow new students of the class of 2013

Parents and family members are encouraged to attend AARO activities along with their student and can register here.

Students can register for AARO and Mustang Corral on ACCESS.SMU.

The deadline for registering for Mustang Corral is 5 p.m. August 7. Students attending Mustang Corral will be able to move into residence halls on Thursday, August 20.

– Megan Bice (’10)