The first ‘Welcome to Wheaton Day’ was recently held on Friday, April 10th. On this day, the college hosted nearly 1,000 people in the form of prospective students and their families. Prior to the event, there was some concern expressed by current students as to how such a large number of visitors could be supported.
In anticipation of this massive admissions day, there were certainly some changes that affected the day-to-day life of current students. One of the biggest concerns was parking. Students were urged to move their cars from lots like the bookstore, to lots 3 and 4 in order to make space for visiting guests.
There were also changes to the usual dining arrangements to make way for events such as a Balfour block party and Haas beach party. The Loft also had interrupted hours but served free steak & cheese as well as chips & fresh guacamole when open. The events themselves had interesting features such as an airbrush station and beach food.
Prior to the event, Dean Kate thanked those who were planning on going to the events. “We know many students are involved in lots of ways in the events and programs that are happening on the ninth and tenth and would encourage current students to engage with visitors while participating in regular activities,” Dean Kate said. “Thank you to those who have volunteered to host a student overnight and to participate in the specific parts of the program.”
Dean Kate had stated that she felt it would be an event that would be in the best interest of all students, as good prospective students would improve the community. There were some students who felt bothered by the event to some extent. “To be honest it was a bit of an inconvenience that Emerson wasn’t open,” Everett Bertrand ’18 said. “I was talking to my professor about it and it seems like this year’s [Wheaton Welcome Day] is way bigger than it has been in past years.”
Bertrand attended the Campus Festival in Haas and did concede that the event was necessary, as he said, “If they want students to come here, this is the exact type of [event] that [the administration] needs to organize every year.”
The event seemed to win many potential students over, as one prospective student named Hannah said, “ This has really helped me decide which college to go to. I’m going to Wheaton. The [Campus Festival] was a little overwhelming but it really made me think about what I may want to do once I get here.”
One prospective student, Max Heisel, especially enjoyed the ambience of the event. “It was really fun,” said Heisel, “I liked all of the music and activities.”
Dean of Admission & Student Aid, Grant Gosselin, was extremely pleased by the overall result of the event. He said that he even observed several students make the deposit online and enroll to Wheaton during the festival itself.
“This has really been a huge success. The community involvement was nothing short of spectacular,” Gosselin said. “From the students to the staff to the faculty, it was really just an incredible job.”