As the last leaves drop from the MB elms and students retreat inside from the Friends Hall deck, college representatives have returned to their campuses. Almost 85 visited our new suite since late September. (The Eckerd College rep from Florida was our last guest before Thanksgiving; she affably complained that New England was just “too cold.”) It’s been fun introducing admission deans to seniors– and rewarding to converse with colleagues about professional topics during our chats with them. (Many have visited Moses Brown for years, so Jill, David and I also reviewed new baby pictures, wedding photos and engagement announcements! We’re lucky to work with so many great people.)
Lots of valuable information is exchanged during discussions with college admission deans. Sometimes, I confess, I’m struck by a solitary fact or figure—or unusual piece of campus trivia. They say a picture speaks a thousand words; I have the same feeling about a simple statistic or quick observation. I tend to take a lot of notes in a spiral notebook (MB blue, of course) when admission officers visit in my office. I often think about certain themes later on the same day (or week); I enjoy going back and reflecting on the issue or nugget of information.
Here are a few “fun facts” that captured my attention this season. A random collection, it is in no particular order!
*New York University is building a campus in Shanghai scheduled to open in the fall of 2013. Students may apply for entrance this year.
*The University of Southern California is launching a 6 billion dollar capital campaign.
*51,000 visitors explored the Northwestern (IL) campus during a recent 12 month period. The University is opening a new visitor center.
*Applications at Grinnell College (IA) Iowa increased 54% last year.
*Rice University (TX) has opened a new Poverty, Justice and Human Capabilities Center.
*Self-designed majors are now the most popular at Pitzer College (CA).
*Stanford University (CA) sponsors exchange programs with three Historically Black Colleges: Howard University (DC), Morehouse College (GA) and Spelman College (GA).
*Haverford (PA) recently announced a 4+1 engineering program with UPenn.
*The maximum loan amount per year at Brown is $5,000. (This keeps students well under the national debt average upon graduation.)
*Dartmouth is celebrating “50 Years of the Arts” with the opening of a new visual arts center.
*Squash is the newest sport to join the athletic roster at Dickinson College (PA).
*The University of Rhode Island opened two LEED certified buildings this fall: a new College of Pharmacy and a stunning residence hall with 429 beds, plus multipurpose spaces and a living/learning classroom.
*The undergraduate division of Lesley (MA) has been renamed “The College of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies.”
*Loyola University (LA) is 100 years old! Yo Yo Ma played during one of the many centennial festivities.
*St. Michael’s (VT) appreciates the effort and expense associated with visiting their campus; the admission office waives the application fee for those who travel to Winooski.
*Wellesley, Babson and Olin have combined forces to create a new certificate program in sustainability. Courses are taught on all three campuses.
*At Bryant University, all sports are now Division 1 and participate in the Northeast Conference.
These represent only a sampling from my handy notebook. At a later date, I’ll share some of some of the fascinating bits of philosophy and practical tips mentioned by our visiting friends. They have lots of great advice for students and parents.
By Helen Scotte Gordon