Prospective Students Visit DePauw on President's Day

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One hundred and seventy prospective students made their way to DePauw on Monday to see a campus buzzing with life.
Typically, an admitted student day falls on a Saturday, with an attendance of 110 to 120 students. This year the event moved to a weekday, which gave a more accurate picture of what life on DePauw's campus looks like and gave prospective students a greater incentive to attend.
"On Saturday it's more convenient for parents, they don't have to miss work and students don't have to miss class," said Dan Meyer, vice president of admissions. "Since its now on President's Day, it's just a little different."
According to Meyer, about half of the prospective students attended a class, a benefit of having the admitted student day on a weekday.
Monday morning prospective students were addressed by President Brian Casey, student body president Sara Scully and vice-president Mark Fadel. A lunch was held as well as an activities fair in the Lilly Center.
"We planned the move to [the Lilly Center] before the number of students increased," said Dani Weatherford, director of admissions.
Weatherford said in past years the academic tabling was done in the Julian Center, and the student activities tables were in the Union Building.
Moving both to the Lilly Center centralized students on campus. The lunch event, a new addition this year, was also held in the Lilly Center.
"Having both together, parents and students can mill about and not have to shuffle people around," Weatherford said.
Moving the event to the Lilly Center created a conflict between the event and basketball practice. A white tarp covered the gym floor to protect it from the scraping of chairs and spilled soda.
"Having to have lunch in Lilly isn't all that great," said Meyer. "It's infringing on basketball practice, as soon as the event is done we have to take down the tarp."
The large number of students meant increased staff and events put on by the university.
"We had more senior interns, extra tour guides, extra tours," said Weatherford. "We had to make sure we had enough people to sit and chat at the lunch tables."
Some prospective students arrived yesterday and did an overnight visit with a current student. A hot chocolate and cookies event was held in the Inn at DePauw on Sunday night. President Casey attended, as well as 30 families. The event was an opportunity for prospective students to meet one another.
"You get to see everyone walking around and the general environment - meet with a lot of people," Carl Hanson, a prospective student from Carmel, Ind., said.
Having an admitted student day helps prospective students make their decisions about which college to attend next year.
"It makes up a part, in the scheme of things you look at a lot of different little bits, and then add it up in the end," Hanson said. "This was one big piece."
In two weeks, some of the students who were on campus Monday will return for interviews for the programs of distinction.
According to Meyer, visits to campus are up 26 percent from last year, and he feels confident about the class of 2017.
"I am always cautious until the eleventh hour," Meyer said. "But I am positive."