The following article was submitted to YFile by Glendon communications officer Marika Kemeny.
On a sparkling November Sunday, an amazing 411 visitors, of whom 200 were prospective students, arrived bright and early to start Glendon’s Fall Campus Day with Morning Mingle breakfast and a chance to meet members of the Glendon faculty and staff, as well as other visitors. Four hundred and eleven is an amazing number for Glendon’s small campus and significantly higher than last year’s attendance at the same event, even though that one still drew on the double cohort’s increased numbers!
Above: The largest crowd ever checks out Glendon’s fall recruitment event
Under the leadership of Tobi Strohan, Glendon’s director of liason, the recruitment team had been hard at work since last summer, generating new ideas, innovative programs and eye-catching publicity for the first major recruitment event of the academic year. On-campus recruitment events of this nature are coordinated by recruitment officer Isabelle Creusot, who took a lead role in the planning and execution of this open house. Other members of the team included Léa Bertrand, Isabelle Côté, David Leavitt and Carol Yorkden-Chamberlain.
In her welcoming address Nov. 7, Françoise Boudreau, acting principal, outlined the benefits of a liberal arts education in today’s workplace. She highlighted the extra advantages of the first-class, bilingual liberal arts education offered by Glendon and supported this choice with personal anecdotes and examples. “Instead of predicting the future, we must create it. A first-class university education is one of the best tools for creating a great future,” said Boudreau.
Right: Isabelle Creusot and David Leavitt officiate at raffle draw
A brand new approach offered visitors the opportunity to be informed in a dynamic and entertaining format during the ensuing super-sessions. While one third of the group went to “Admissions 101”, receiving the information they needed for making the all-important choice of university and the technicalities of applying to Glendon, the second group took part in a tour of the campus, guided by one of the dozen or so Glendon “ambassadors” – currently enrolled students trained for this activity. The third part of the group attended the other super-session: “Straight from Our Students”. A series of eloquent testimonials by current Glendon students from a variety of academic interests was animated by Dave Leavitt and Carol Yorkden-Chamberlain. This interactive format engaged the audience and provided them with many opportunities for questions and reactions. The triple sessions were then repeated until everyone had had a chance to take part in each activity.
“The presentations informed our guests of today’s realities in attending university. When they understand that 15 hours per week of classes require another 25 hours of preparation, they realize that university is full-time work. Add a part-time job to that, and a healthy respect is developed by families for their children’s commitment,” said Leavitt.
Right: A capacity crowd attended each of Glendon’s fall campus recruitment events
Among the potential success stories of the day was a high-school student who initially was not sure he wanted to go to university. After visiting the Glendon booth at the Ontario Universities Fair in September, he attended Fall Campus Day and discovered a number of programs which excited his interest. He loved the flexibility of the programs and the intimacy of the campus. When he also learned that he could study Japanese as part of his program, he was hooked.
Recruitment team member Léa Bertrand reported that a mother, who had enrolled in the education program on the Glendon campus last year, brought her daughter to check out the Glendon option this year.
The open house culminated in the mid-day information fair, with “stations” lining the walls and covering the entire floor in Glendon’s cafeteria. Each academic program was represented by members of its faculty, and tables were also set up for all the student services. A clever visual: the residence office had set up a mock “residence room” in the middle of the floor, complete with desk, computer, bookshelf, and a messy bed with clothes scattered on it – a reality-based demonstration.
An enthusiastic “ambassador”, fourth-year sociology/psychology major Julie Degrâce, originally from New Brunswick, confided: “I remember my first visit to Glendon at a campus open house, wondering what the best choice would be for me. I was so lucky to choose Glendon. I have had great courses and great professors: Josée Rivest, Marc Lesage, Guy Proulx, so many others. The four years have passed by so quickly and here I am now, advising the next ‘generation’ of students. This is such an excellent and useful event.”
The visit ended with a raffle, in which every guest had a chance to win a Glendon gift. This all-inclusive approach carried through the whole day’s program, with everyone present – not just prospective students – receiving an information package and being welcomed into all the activities.
Since the trend is that subsequent recruitment programs of the academic year attract an increasingly larger attendance, it is hoped that the huge audience of the day will translate into a substantial number of registrations for next fall.