Welcoming Glendon’s future students

Over 400 guests made up of prospective students and their families were treated to a warm international welcome, the hallmark of York’s Glendon campus, on Sunday, March 12 during its annual March Break Open House. 

New to this year’s recruitment event was the Circle of Scholars Breakfast, which welcomed close to 60 guests who were top applicants from area high schools. Held in the magnificently decorated Albert Tucker Room overlooking the Don River valley, and against a backdrop of classical music provided by Glendonites Paulo Bittencourt and Cristina Raimondo (BA ’05), the students were greeted by Glendon Principal Kenneth McRoberts and director of recruitment and liaison Tobi Strohan.

Right: Cristina Raimondo on violin and Paulo Bittencourt on keyboard entertained guests at Glendon’s Circle of Scholars Breakfast on March 12

Each student received a long-stem rose – a symbol of the campus’s beauty and close links to nature. The guests were joined for an elegant sit-down breakfast by some of York University’s VIPs, including President and Vice-Chancellor Lorna R. Marsden and Glendon Associate Principals Louise Lewin and Françoise Boudreau. The hosting committee, each of whom sat at one of the tables, included some of Glendon’s highest achieving current students: Charmaine Bene, Karen Campbell, Graham Gallagher, Natalie Riggs and Bobby Jo Saucier.

The guests heard a series of presentations about the Glendon experience. Marsden was eloquent in her description of what makes Glendon special, namely its outstanding faculty and excellent students. She and McRoberts were also proud to point out some of the college’s famous and successful alumni, among them award-winning journalist Chantal Hébert; John McNee, Canada’s ambassador to the UN; former federal cabinet minister David Collenette; and former Canadian ambassador to Thailand Andrew McAlister.

Left: President & Vice-Chancellor Lorna R. Marsden with future Glendon student Andrea Bucholz and her mother at the Circle of Scholars’ Breakfast

During the breakfast, outstanding Glendon scholar Charmaine Bene, herself a ‘top applicant’ four years ago, was the keynote speaker and a living example of the message delivered to students by McRoberts. She highlighted that top high-school students can excel at Glendon, and will receive every encouragement and support to do so. Bene described her Glendon experience and the opportunities she has received  – including a third year of study in Seville, Spain – with enthusiasm.

Guests included many residents of the GTA and the surrounding areas, but some came from as far away as Ottawa to the east, and London and Sarnia to the west. They were joined at their tables by hosts from the same general locations, or similar academic interests. The breakfast was followed by a tour of the campus, lead by Bene.

By 10am, the entrance hall of historic Glendon Manor was buzzing with many more potential students and families, who were enjoying fresh croissants and coffee and the lively jazz provided by the Glendon Student Musical Ensemble. Most of the visiting students had already applied to Glendon and came to research the campus, the programs and student services, as well as student life, before making their final choice of university for the coming fall.

Left: Glendon political science professor Ian Roberge (far left) chats with parents interested in knowing more about York’s bilingual campus

 Students could choose from three rotating information sessions which touched on careers, details about admissions and finances, as well as a “Q and A Café”. The “café” introduced current students Amandine Perdebat and Oliver Vidal, who had prepared a slide presentation detailing a week in their student life. By featuring Perdebat, a Franco-Ontarian commuter to school, and Vidal, an Anglophone who lives in residence, visitors received answers to most of their questions about student life from the real-life experience of these two students.

By all accounts, the visitors were delighted with the programs and the highly informative content of the sessions. Emily Pittman of Iroquois Ridge High School in Oakville, Ont. said, “I loved the personal touch we received at this open house –  the splendid breakfast, the rose, the music. I hope to major in international studies and found the question-and-answer session especially informative.”

Right: Top student Charmaine Bene (at the back) with Jennifer Manderson (far right), a top scholar from Newmarket, and her parents

Another guest, Marley Higham, came with her mother and her aunt. “I am interested in studying French, drama and women’s studies – all of which are offered on the Glendon campus”, she said. “I found the admissions and finances session particularly informative. I learned about grants and bursaries available to me that I wasn’t even aware of.” Marley’s mother commented, “We didn’t even have to ask the questions we had prepared, because the information sessions provided all the answers. What a great program!”

From 11am onwards, visitors could join a campus tour and a residence tour led by student ambassadors, who really knew their stuff. The guests appreciated having a chance to actually see the inside of the residences and some rooms, visiting the brand new art gallery and getting a real look at campus life.

Left: Students had an opportunity to find out more about Glendon during an information fair held in the cafeteria

The extensive information fair in the cafeteria, which also began at 11am, welcomed visitors with tables for every academic program, and each student service. The tables were staffed by members of the teaching faculty and specialists working in the service areas, such as student security, career and personal counselling, athletics and the theatre. Representatives of student clubs were also in attendance.

Said one visitor at the end of the day, “I feel that I have a very good idea of what it’s like to be a Glendon student. I can’t wait to become one. “

Visit Glendon’s March Break Open House Web site for a full recap of the day’s activities.

This article was submitted to YFile by Glendon communications officer Marika Kemeny.