Well, it wasn’t exactly the beautiful paradise day that we’ve come to expect these last few weeks, but on Open Campus Day, we enjoyed a truly incredible atmosphere on campus. It was amazing to have so many admitted students and their families on campus, and all of us in the Admission Office were incredibly excited about it.
We gathered in the morning to distribute our t-shirts and go over the schedule, and then headed out into the downpour to welcome everyone and begin our day-long tasks of answering questions, directing people around campus, and apologizing for the weather!
Everyone has different memories of past Open Campus Days: I remember mine in the Spring of 2008, a day when I learned a good deal of information about Haverford life and academic departments, but was most struck by one substantive but less expected point…the people at Haverford are fantastic! They were kind, funny, interested in getting to know me, involved in all kinds of things, and spoke so well about their experience. I was nervous about what kinds of students Haverford attracted, and getting to meet so many on one day made a huge impression on me. This environment is respectful, accepting, and actively championing of your interests and passions, which establishes a wonderful cycle. Students come to Haverford who seek this environment, further perpetuating it, which brings more students just like that, etc.
This year, I had a chance to moderate our students-only panel, which was a lot of fun for the panelists, and (I hope) a worthwhile and informative session for the students. Like the online chats we offer, it’s just a time to get direct answers from real students, often times from multiple students with different opinions. Afterwards, we joined the parents and other student volunteers in the GIAC for the closing reception, and got to catch up with families we’d seen earlier that day. I even ran into a mom of a current student, someone I met at Open Campus Day (and maybe even convinced to attend) when I was a freshman working in the Admission Office.
It wasn’t a beautiful day in terms of the weather, but I know I was nevertheless thrilled with the day overall. We had a variety of events and panels all day, and I loved getting to see students and families again and talk to them more about Haverford. I hope they all decide to come!