Seeking a digital platform to engage students, host orientation and engagement programming, and meet the communication needs of the university, Holy Names University deployed Raftr in the summer of 2020. HNU utilized the platforms custom calendaring, dynamic checklists, and targeted messaging tools to deliver an entirely virtual pre-orientation from June through August.

When the university announced that all instruction would be virtual in fall 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Raftr was again used to distribute the full New Student Orientation program in August 2020. Following Orientation, HNU was able to shift focus to virtual student events and student organizations as students continued to seek methods for engagement in a virtual setting.

Rich Content

First year students also had access to campuswide information, including maps, campus dining guides, and more.

Small Groups

Students attended live sessions (with a few pre-recorded sessions to be viewed as specific times) in synchronous groups throughout the summer Hawk Days pre-orientation program. During an assigned Hawk Day, incoming first year students accessed links to Zoom discussions, breakout sessions, and live virtual advising & registration, in addition to live social sessions with their peer leaders in assigned small groups.

“Quote coming soon”

Casey LaBarbera

Assistant Dean for Student Affairs
Director of New Student Programs, Involvement & Leadership


first-year student users



user sessions



hours communicating and gathering information



group and direct messages

By combining powerful, direct tools for sharing important information with a robust communication platform, Holy Names University has been able to create an active community for its first year students.

The university is continuing to use Raftr to promote engagement – even while remaining fully virtual – by highlighting student organizations, online & virtual events, and allowing students to connect and forge friendships through the platform.

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