While April may bring spring showers, if you work in the admission profession, the season produces people visiting campus! Many are admitted seniors and their parents, and Monday marked our sixth and final large program of the season. To say our staff is a bit exhausted is an understatement, but the enthusiasm of the visiting families, and our passion for DU, keeps us energized to provide an informative, organized and exceptional experience.
For sure we share all the great attributes that make DU special – personal attention, small classes, faculty interaction, study abroad, and of course the amazing surroundings we awaken to each day in Colorado. But sometimes we get lost in the data of all the various rates people rank and assess – retention, graduation, employment – that we forget about the personal “match” that ultimately drives many of the decisions for visiting students. I’ve probably attended over 100 admitted visit programs in my 17 years at DU, but can never recall a story as unique as the one I encountered on Saturday.
We hosted over 400 people on Saturday, and at our closing ice cream social, students have the opportunity to deposit and formalize their commitment to DU if they so choose. Towards the end, there were probably about ten families remaining, and two lovely young women approached me and requested a group picture. Turns out these two “met” on Facebook a few weeks ago, learned that they both reside in California (although, about a five-hour drive apart) and want to study Biology. By chance, both of their families happened to visit campus this past Saturday. That’s right, they met in person for the first time during our visit program, and became fast friends and decided not only to commit to DU, but also to room together next fall in the residence halls. And they naturally wanted a picture with the director of admission to officially celebrate and remember this joyous decision. Sometimes we need to tear up our fancy strategic plans and remember that in the end, this entire experience is about “people” and making connections. We make a difference in people’s lives, and Saturday reminded me how fortunate I am to work in such a noble profession.
Since Saturday was a day of “firsts” – students meeting and deciding to room together during their visit followed by my first picture with visiting students - why not add to the excitement?? Within minutes, another student decided to commit to DU and she too requested a photo! So a big congrats to Courtney, Jasmine and Aubrie for selecting DU, and thanks to all three for believing in DU to help shape your next four years. Can’t wait to welcome you three at orientation this fall!
Todd Rinehart - Associate Vice Chancellor and Director of Admission