On September 24, the Admissions Office hosted its first Day Student Open House. The event, consisting of both student-led tours and a student panel, offered potential students in the area the opportunity to visit the Lawrenceville campus.
All prospective day student applicants registered in the School’s system were invited to the event. Prior to the day of the open house and on the morning of the program, a number of interviews were held for potential applicants. Afterwards, Dean of Enrollment Management Greg Buckles spoke to visitors about the admissions process and the experience of being a day student at Lawrenceville.
“He talked about how, at Lawrenceville, day students are really incorporated into the House system and the community,” Associate Director of Admissions Christine Ding explained.
After the speech, the prospective day students met with the day student panel, consisting of V Formers Ford Collins, Jackie Courtney, and Ford Collins; Kingsley Hughes ’24; and Christopher Bai ’25. These students were selected by Ding for being “very involved throughout the community” whether through being a member of House Council or an active Tour Guide.
The parents of the visiting students also attended a parent panel with four current day student parents. The panels were similar in format, with the visitors asking questions and the panelists answering.
“It was cool to connect with some of the people since [we were all day students], so I was able to make them feel like they already had that connection when they got here,” Kim said. During the open house, she toured four potential applicants along with their families, a larger group than she was accustomed to. “The group was definitely larger than usual, which was hard because I had to talk in a way that everyone could hear me,” Kim elaborated. Another challenge the tour guides faced was overcrowding the buildings, as all tours started at the same time. However, the Tour Guide Council was able to solve this issue by assigning each tour to be either odd or even, with odd groups taking one route and even groups taking another. “Overall, I think it was definitely a success. I think the kids who came out had a lot of fun, and it was pretty fun for me too,” Kim noted.
“We decided to do [a day student open house]this year in order to cultivate excitement and show support towards our day student applicants,” Ding said. The Office of Admissions had been considering this idea for a long time before settling on the decision, as they wanted to show the day students “some extra love” during the application process. Before the pandemic, admissions faculty from the School would host local receptions for students and families to attend. “This year, we decided to actually bring [the day students] to campus for a special event to show how much we appreciate them and how excited we are to receive their applications,” Ding elaborated.
Afterwards, the students were sorted into groups to be toured around campus during E Period, when most tour guides have their free periods. Ding actually viewed this as a challenge in organizing the event: “We typically strive to do individual, one-on-one tours where we can pair students that are a perfect match.” The admissions team “built the entire program schedule around having the tour during E Period” in order for there to be a sufficient number of tour guides. For this reason, the admissions team hopes to host the event on a no-class Saturday in the future.
Despite these obstacles, Ding described the open house as having gone “really well” due to the large number of families present. “I think the demand and the excitement for an event like this was apparent, as we opened up registration and it was full within a few hours,” she said. Ding also emphasized the important roles other groups around campus played in organizing such a successful event, including Public Safety and the Kirby Arts Center staff. “These community partners are really what made the event possible, and we’re very grateful for [their] partnership,” she said.