By Cassidy LeBert ‘17
On Feb. 6, the Merrimack College community broke record numbers in welcoming admitted students of the class of 2020 to campus for the largest Admitted Student Day to date. According to Lindsey Darling, director of visitor services, the school hosted 1,236 total guests on the day of the event and 477 of them being admitted students. To put this number into perspective, the school will receive over 8,000 applications for admission this year and will end with a total of 900 enrolled first-year students, according to associate vice president of enrollment, Darren Conine.
“The record attendance of those who registered was beyond our expectations which are based on our past experience. So, there were some rooms in which it was standing-room only,” Darling said.
Darling thanks the hundreds of volunteers from the Merrimack community who helped with the day’s events.
“The Admitted Student Day is not only a celebration of the admitted students’ achievements, but also of our own,” she said.
To celebrate these achievements and convey what it is like to attend Merrimack College, the school hosted numerous of entertaining, engaging, and informative events throughout the day which were kicked off by dozens of volunteers cheering on cars outside as they were welcomed to campus around 9 a.m.
Throughout the day, guests were welcomed to tours, lunch, info sessions, and involvement fairs, including the Academic and Student Life Fair, as well as informal Academic Experience panels in which guests were encouraged to chat with currently enrolled students and faculty. Mackapella and the Dance Team were also in attendance for the day’s events and put on performances in the MPR.
Both Darling and vice president for enrollment and retention, David Hautanen, noted the huge impact volunteers had on this day.
According to student ambassador Caroline Urbanek, most ambassadors are assigned a five-hour time slot to work and are given a task to carry out for the day. These tasks include giving tours, taking pictures of the day’s events, maintaining their social media accounts, greeting guests, providing their insight at info sessions, and above all, being open for questions to help students and their families.
Sophomore Michael Santoro spoke of how he felt the day went.
“My favorite part would definitely be giving the opening session. Three other ambassadors and myself gave a talk on what it means to be a member of the Merrimack Community to us through our involvements, class experiences, internships, and service learning,” Santoro said.
Santoro said he thought the prospective students got the most out of talking with Merrimack College students about their real life experiences.
“The student experience is what makes every college different, so it definitely helped them get a feel of what it’s like to be a warrior.”
Urbanek and Santoro also confirmed the big hit of the green screen featured in the MPR, which allowed students to take a picture with different locations on campus as the backdrop such as the Mendel Bridge, Martone-Mejail Field, and Cascia Hall.
“The success of our Admitted Student Day was a testament to the high degree of preparation and participation by the entire Merrimack Community including our students, faculty, staff, leadership, alumni and parents,” said Hautanen.