Blog post was written by Justin Baker from College Counseling
Next Stop: University of Delaware
Our first day on the road, though filled with quite a bit of traffic in Connecticut, was still a good one. The weather was beautiful and made for a great tour of the Lerner College of Business and Economics at the University of Delaware.
We started off with an engaging tour of Vita Nova, UD's student-run, fine dining restaurant. Students in the Hospitality Business Management program learn the ins and outs of running a successful restaurant. From $60,000 dishwashers to state-of-the-art blast chillers, Vita Nova competes with the areas finest restaurants.
From there, we met with Dr. Scott Jones, the Interim Associate Dean, Undergraduate & Professor of Accounting, who led a student-panel discussion on the academic, experiential, and extracurricular programs available to UD Business School students. Of note was the Horn Entrepreneurship program where a select and small number of students can work on venture development. We then got to see the Michael and Rosann Geltzeiler Trading Center, full of Bloomberg Terminals. The weather offered us a wonderful chance to stroll down Main Street and grab a bite to eat before we hit the road (and all the traffic). The best surprise, once we finally got to the hotel, was the water slide at the pool!
Next Stop: Providence College
After a two and a half hour ride into Providence, RI, we had another fun and informative day. At Providence College, we learned about their emphasis on liberal arts education, global experiences, and their service-based mission. Of note is the two-year Development of Western Civilization requirement where students make connections across disciplines in history, literature, theology, and philosophy. (Similar to Gilman's tenth-grade curriculum). The campus has recently undergone major renovations, and the new humanities and business buildings, along with the innovative sports facilities, were impressive.
Third Stop: Brown University
We took a short ride to Thayer Street before our tour of Brown University where students had a chance to eat some tasty BBQ, calzones, or grab a burger and shake from Shake Shack.
We've had some amazing speakers and tour guides over the years, but our tour guide at Brown, David Paasche, was unbelievable. When was the last time you met an amateur circus performer, parkour aficionado, and powerlifter who studies physics and philosophy, can recite the opening lines of The Canterbury Tales in Middle English from memory, and who also spends his free time studying ornithology? In an engaging and amusing way, he told us about the history and folklore of Brown while also taking time to explain the open curriculum, share his experiences with a renowned professor in the Computer Science department, and offered some advice to our upperclassmen about how to approach the application process.
The highlight of the Brown visit, however, was the crab walk race that David challenged us to at the end. In his two years as a tour guide, he's only been beaten in a crab race by three other visitors. Who would have guessed that our very own Ben Snavely would be only the fourth to take him down?
Next Stop: Tufts University
Well, the rain finally caught up with us. But, it offered an opportune time to talk about how the weather on the day of your visit - or a lousy tour guide for that matter - shouldn't be the deciding factor when determining if a school is a good fit for you. So, today we got to practice discerning between the emotional response to a place (and the weather) and the substantive programming and culture of a college.
We started off at Tufts where we were greeted by a life-sized statue of P.T. Barnum's Jumbo the elephant and sloshed through puddles as we walked the hills of the Medford campus. Our regional rep talked about the research opportunities available to undergraduates and the Experimental College, where students can design and teach a course to their fellow undergraduates. And, of course, we had a real college lunch on campus at the Carmichael Dining Hall.
Next Stop: Boston College
From Tufts, it was off to Boston College. We got front row treatment at the information session where several BC undergrads talked about their experience. Our tour guides were great. They spoke about the Jesuit traditions at the school rooted in service for others. We even saw an impressive science lab containing a magnet so powerful it can move a compass needle as far away as San Francisco. We also got a nice compliment from our tour guides at the very end who said that, in all their years of doing tours (and high school group tours in particular), we were the most respectful and attentive group they'd ever had. A nice compliment even if it was from a Yankees fan. We got our third wind on the bus from BC's campus to Harvard Yard. Even though we didn't have a formal tour, it was nice to simply stroll through the campus. Despite our advice to eat local and explore the robust cuisine in Cambridge, many guys still ate at Qdoba and Shake Shack for dinner. Oh well.
Next Stop: Harvard University
We got our third wind on the bus from BC's campus to Harvard Yard. Even though we didn't have a formal tour, it was nice to simply stroll through the campus. Despite our advice to eat local and explore the robust cuisine in Cambridge, many guys still ate at Qdoba and Shake Shack for dinner. Oh well.
Last Stop: Trinity College
We just finished our final tour of Trinity College. To our surprise, Gilman graduate and Senior Associate Director for Enrollment Systems & Operations, Keith McCants, greeted us at the admission building and wanted to pose for a picture with the group. Gilman grads are everywhere!
When asked if they'd like a new Starbucks or the new neuroscience and visual arts building on campus, Trinity students voted to build the Crescent Center for Arts and Neuroscience. This choice speaks volumes to the kind of student who thrives at Trinity; they are intellectually adventurous, eager to take on leadership opportunities on campus, collaborative, and ready to serve the larger community of Hartford.
Trinity is one of the smallest schools in the country to also have an ABET accredited engineering program, so it makes sense that their robotics team is top notch. The school is also deeply committed to revitalizing efforts in Hartford. The Community Learning Initiative is an experiential learning opportunity where students learn from professors in the classroom and then apply that knowledge by partnering with 80 area organizations to serve the Hartford community at-large. There are a lot of reasons Gilman grads every year go on to become Bantams.