All of our first-year students participate in our NOVA Wilderness Orientation Program. NOVA trips are week-long excursions “designed to support the transition to college life at Unity by emphasizing personal growth, building social connections, and promoting environmental stewardship.” Some trips this summer included Canoeing the St. Croix, Backpacking Grafton Notch, Island Based Community Service, and the Sustainability Living Tour. The last NOVA trip, just before the start of the semester, is intended for those of our students from farthest away. This weekend those students essentially moved onto campus early and got a mini-orientation before they head out for a week of wilderness fun.
The president hosted these students and their families at the LEED Platinum Unity House on Saturday. He wanted to welcome the students, let them know what a great choice they’ve made in coming to Unity College, assure their parents that we’ll take good care of them, and emphasize our focus on sustainability. The Unity House, he reminded us, is a model for how we want to approach building on campus. Certainly not every new construction on campus will look like the Unity House, but every attention will be given to the highest energy performance we can attain given the resources at hand. As we consider new residence construction in the coming years, we’ll draw on our experience with and the performance of the Unity House. And, of course, we’re thrilled to share the story of the Unity House not only with our new students, but with their families from around the country.