University Ministry

Drop Shadow

Pre-Orientation Retreat

Students having lunchSmall groupStudents singing

August 26–28, 2015

Find a place to BELONG
Explore what you BELIEVE
BECOME more fully who you are

Exclusively for first-year students, the University Ministry Pre-O Retreat offers the opportunity for new USD students to get to know others who are both excited and nervous about their new life as a college student.  Past participants have loved Pre-O because they were able to start USD with friendships already in place even before Ole Days began.

A dynamic and talented group of upper-class students leads this retreat. These students share their experiences at USD, lead small groups, and facilitate conversation about how to live a life of faith while in college. In addition to meeting other students and finding support from upperclassmen, participants have the opportunity to hike, swim, and enjoy the beautiful Palomar Mountains.

As an added bonus, Pre-O participants move in a few days early, avoiding the rush during orientation and benefiting from the first choice of beds in your room.

Pre-O will be offered August 26–28, 2015 at Wildwood Camp and Conference Center in Ramona, California. Cost for the retreat is $195, but financial assistance is available. For more information regarding financial assistance, please email Maria Gaughan ( before registering.

Registration: Register for Pre-O

For more information or financial assistance, please contact Maria Gaughan at or (619) 260-7407.

Students in small groupStudents in Founders ChapelStudents journaling

In the words of past participants, Pre-O is…

  • One of the best investments you can make in your future at USD because it lays the foundations for meaningful friendships, gives you amazing first college memories, and is a great way to ease your anxieties about stepping on the campus of USD for the first time as a college student.
  • Not only an early orientation where you can get a head-start on meeting fellow classmates; it is also a time where you can get spiritually, emotionally, and mentally prepared for college and all that encompasses your new life journey.
  • Life-changing.
  • The primary way that I was able to connect with like-minded individuals in a fun way that helped me grow as a person, while strengthening my faith in God during my freshman year of college.
  • A great way to be introduced to life at USD, meet new people who share your similar values, and to get closer to God.
  • Reassuring.
  • The absolute best way to start the USD college experience by meeting and connecting on a deeper level with amazing people who care about something beyond the academic and social aspects of college.

Are you interested in getting involved but can't make it to Pre-O?

Another department at USD, Outdoor Adventures, also offers Pre-O experiences.  This year, they have Pre-O Adventure trips to six beautiful locations that incorporate a variety of outdoor activities.  From the mild to the wild, these OA trips are as adventurous as you are.  Learn more about their Pre-O Adventures.