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Freshman DC 2016 Trip: An Experience Like No Other

Are you going to be a King University freshman this fall? This coming Sept. 22-24, all King freshmen are invited to unite together for a truly unique adventure known well to the King community as Experience D.C. Each fall, King faculty and staff lead the freshmen class on an excursion to the nation’s capital, Washington D.C. For more than a decade, King freshmen have been experiencing the nation’s capital and creating connections that will last a lifetime.

“Experience D.C. provides a unique opportunity for each incoming class to get to know one another, as well as members of the faculty and staff, during a shared experience that is both challenging and fun,” says Matt Peltier, Ph.D., dean of students at King. “Along with new student orientation and first-year seminar course, this trip to Washington adds to a common journey that equips students with a good foundation for their remaining college experience. Students quickly find this is a great opportunity to make connections and meet people, despite some initial apprehension about navigating a major city like D.C.”

Far more than a sightseeing tour, this unique expedition is designed to build cohort unity through interaction with faculty and staff outside the classroom setting. Freshmen will have this adventure in common with King sophomores, juniors, and seniors, as well as alumni who travelled in previous years. 

The first stop on the Experience D.C. trip every year is the National D-day Memorial in Bedford, Va. Students have the opportunity to walk through the Reynolds Garden, named for a King alumnus, Richard S. Reynolds (Class of 1900). Memorialized in the garden, Reynolds was “the visionary industrialist-poet who foresaw his country’s inevitable need for aluminum. During the late 1930’s, Reynolds responded to this need by placing his fortune and reputation in the balance to produce enough aluminum for the United States to build and sustain the Air Force, providing the Allies overwhelming air superiority for D-Day.”

Through a variety of tracks, students have the opportunity to explore how their studies in the classroom, in their major, can turn into their vocation. The trip is also designed to show students how vast the options are for careers within the field they choose.

Past tracks students have participated in included visits to the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, National Gallery, Capitol Police, Capitol Area Food Bank, Partnership for Public Service, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Natural History Museum, Folger Shakespeare Library, National Gallery of Art, National Museum of Crime and Punishment, National Cathedral, National Cryptologic Museum, United States Capitol Building, United States Supreme Court, National Museum of Health and Medicine, National Museum of American History, Hirshhorn Museum of Contemporary Art & Sculpture Garden, and the National Museum of Air and Space.

Students have the distinct privilege to honor the nation's war veterans in the wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. Students may choose to continue on to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial. “Many times there are veterans in attendance at the wreath-laying ceremony. Students are usually quite moved during the ceremony; some are caught off guard at just how emotional the ceremony is,” says Peltier.

The Experience D.C. trip is distinctive in that it integrates opportunities for personal, social, and intellectual challenge and growth, providing students the opportunity to learn more about themselves and their classmates, explore vocational opportunities, and experience the tremendous treasures found in our nation’s capital. “Through this experience, we hope students will have a vision for something that is calling them beyond college,” says Peltier.

Reserve your spot for the Experience D.C. trip by making your deposit online at no later than Aug. 26, 2016. Sign up for tracks and housing may be completed during Launch on Saturday, Aug. 20.

You will also have an opportunity to take an early look at campus life during Access King on Friday, July 22, 2016. The early registration day and open house offers you and your family the opportunity to talk with King staff members about financial aid, register for classes, check out residence life, and more. Register for Access King by visiting

Sign up to get text reminders and alerts leading up to and during Experience D.C. by texting @kingdc to 81010. For more information on Experience D.C., contact Matt Peltier at King’s Office of Student Affairs at 423.652.4740.