2011 Spring Orientation

On Thursday, January 6, bright blue and white balloons announced the arrival of our newest students at Menlo College. With a one day advanced check-in and orientation, our international students were gracefully eased into campus life. The next morning was even livelier as the whole crew of newbies arrived.

Dorothy Skala was absolutely thrilled to see Javier Burillo '81 L&S enter her office, beaming as he introduced his son, Javier Burillo Jr, to her after thirty years! The two were like pillars next to Dorothy, and she was very generous with her hugs. Dorothy waits with great anticipation for Orientation Day when she always spots a “legacy” student, i.e., child of an alum. Javier, Sr. was born in Mexico and is now living in Belvedere, CA. He later acknowledged at the Parents' Welcome Luncheon that he had “great memories of Menlo,” which were “the best time of our lives.”

Another legacy family traveled from Saudi Arabia to accompany Duna Al-Saud. Her mother, Al Jawharab, brother Nayef, sisters Sadeem and Nisreen Al-Saud were having a wonderful afternoon meeting other new students and their families. Also with the Al-Saud family were their close friends George and Zinovia Hatzopoulos from Southern California. From time to time, Mrs. Al-Saud referred to the family's uncle, HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Al-Saoud, a famous Menlo alumnus from 1979.

Kate Semel arrived with her parents, Terry and Jane, and sisters Lily and Courtney from Beverly Hills, CA. Undecided about her major, Kate seemed very confident and eager to delve into her prospects. Across the room, dressed very nattily, were freshman Yanish Ismael and his brother Shahim, from Antananarivo in Madagascar. Preston Curley hails from Lakrspur, CA, and had just returned from Sienna Italy. He plans to combine a Media Management major with playing football for the Oaks. Mai Mochizuki, originally from Tokyo, Japan, has met another Menlo College alumna, Yasuko Watanabe '80, one of the officers of Menlo Kai, the alumni group headed by Simon Matoba '68 and based in Tokyo. Megan Ramies is a junior transfer who lives in Emerald Hills above Redwood City. She will be carrying an extraordinarily heavy academic load this semester! Matt Pelesasa will also be playing football, and is also a local Redwood City native. Junior Trey Thompson transferred from Santa Monica College and plans to major in finance.

Yasmin Lambie-Simpson, Dean of Student Affairs, gave each student a moment of appreciation as she introduced them to the audience. There were so many activities planned for one day! Besides taking care of enrollment business, placement tests, checking into dorms, participating in a Bowman Library tutorial and getting user names and passwords, the students looked forward to a quick trip to Target, a Bay Area sightseeing tour on Sunday, and all the dinners, brunches and fun times planned for them.

Parents said their goodbyes before dinner Friday, and a trained and well-prepared Student Life staff assured them that their student would be given any help needed and lots of TLC!