Overwhelming positive response to York’s March Break Gala


 Above: Future students checked in at the welcome centre.

The Keele campus March Break Gala, held Saturday, March 12, showcased York spirit and pride, innovative teaching, research and progressive programs with imagination and flair. Snow flurries and overcast skies did nothing to dampen the spirit of the more than 6,000 future students and their families who arrived bright and early to see and do “everything possible” on the program. When asked for feedback, one future student responded with excitement and conviction: “What a wonderful day. I can’t even think of going to another university.”

The March Break Gala gave future students a chance to ask questions and explore the campus and its services. Surrounded by music and volunteers, the eager students and their families were given a full day of events to enjoy. From the exclusive Circle of Scholars Breakfast where 160 top scholars and guests mingled with York’s President and Vice-Chancellor Lorna R. Marsden and Faculty representatives, to the closing concert, guests had a lot to rave about. More than 80 events took place across the Keele campus to show students what York has to offer. They were offered bus and walking tours of campus, performances, panels, mini lectures, previews of most of York’s undergraduate programs, and chats with professors, staff and current students.

Right: York’s cheerleaders flying high at the March Break Gala

Here’s a sample of what guests had to say (taken from the more than 800 follow-up surveys participants responded to in a 24-hour period):

  • “From what I’ve experienced, other universities don’t plan their March Break open houses quite like York does. So many excellent sessions. So many great people available to answer questions. So many programs and departments on hand it was hard to choose which ones to visit.”

  • “I am very glad to have visited the March Gala at York University. It was an incredible experience. The science students and professors were very friendly and helpful. This experience is definitely going to help me a lot during the decision-making process. Thank you for providing such useful information about your programs.”

  • “I loved the observatory. And I got to meet a really interesting professor. I expected professors to be stuffy but he was really approachable.”

  • “The Schulich professors, staff and students were impressive. They really made me consider the International Bachelor of Business Administration (iBBA) program even more.”

  • “The music department’s presentation was impressive because everything was thoroughly explained, and all of my questions were directly answered. I got a good feel for what music at York is all about!”

  • “The Arts Faculty Zone was very busy but everyone was helpful. I came to check out history and criminology, and loved the fact that I could just go up and talk to professors about their programs.”

  • “I loved the kinesiology and health science lab examples. They were quite informative and allowed me to really consider taking this major. Also in the Biology Tour, learning about Dr. Kelly’s fish was totally interesting.”

  • “The education student panel was inspiring. They even had pictures of work they’d done in their host classrooms.”

  • “Atkinson has programs that easily accommodate a working student’s schedule.”

Student ambassadors enthusiastically directed guests and family to sessions and answered questions from the complicated “How do I get good grades?” to the entertaining “So, how’s the social life?” Smiling parents and future students were seen throughout the day enjoying popcorn, following cheerfully behind tour guides and marvelling at the dynamic campus. Many said they were able to get a good feel for the campus atmosphere and they liked what they saw.

General sessions were also well-received:

  • “The mature and transfer student session provided a wealth of information. It’s good to be able to ask questions and know that person you’re talking to has the answers.”

  • The major/minor session was a life-saver for many confused high-schoolers: “I was confused as to which program offer I wanted to accept. The session about combining majors & minors helped me to decide what I wanted to do.”

  • “The ‘It’s Your Future! Session’ was very useful for my son. He’s in Grade 11 and still deciding what’s necessary for applying to university. Now we know the proper classes to take in Grade 12.”

The day wrapped up just as energetically as it started with Wibi, York’s award-winning student a cappella ensemble, and York Idol Ayla Rodney-Simard. Jamming in the crowd, here’s what one future student had to say: “The March Break Gala was a really fun experience. In Vari Hall, I saw live fencing, cheerleading and the a cappella group singing Maroon 5’s “She Will Be Loved” was icing on the cake! I had a great time and am looking forward to joining the York community.”

For many satisfied March Break guests, York is definitely their education destination:

  • “York has been my first choice since I visited the university fair. Then I went to the preview party in the fall. Now I know that I can’t see myself anywhere but here next year. “

  • “Everything was perfect. See you in September!”

Glendon had its own event on Sunday, March 13, and welcomed more than 380 people – a new record! Guests commented on the warm reception they received and the variety of activities offered.  For the full story, click here.

To find out about more events for future students, check out the Visit Us Web site.