“It just feels like home,” said Moultrie, who attends Wando High School in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. “I visited another college campus, but I didn’t get the same feeling. I had to experience Spelman for myself, and A Day in Your Life helped solidify my decision. I’m really excited.”
Moultrie attended A Day in Your Life at Spelman on Monday, Oct. 7. Held twice each fall, the daylong open house event allowed Moultrie and hundreds of other high school students and their families to experience the Spelman campus firsthand. During ADIYL, prospective students explore everything from touring the campus and talking with professors and students, to attending information sessions and learning more about academic programs.
Experiencing the Campus Firsthand
Thanks to her experience at ADIYL, Moultrie said she can’t imagine attending any college except Spelman.
“The people were so friendly, and the environment made me feel safe and at home,” said Moultrie, whose four cousins are Spelman alumnae, and another is currently a student. “I found out about the small class sizes, and I thought it was cool. I also talked to a student, who told me that professors know her and call her by name. Someone else told me her professor stayed on the phone with her late one night and helped her with her homework until she understood it. It’s so different and so great. You can’t even get that kind of help in high school.”
LaShanda Lambry, interim director of the Office of Admissions, said that’s what makes ADIYL so unique.
“A Day in Your Life introduces students to the Spelman sisterhood and why Spelman is different from any other college or university they’ve visited,” said Lambry, who coordinated the Oct. 7 event. “There’s something about our campus and the College’s rich history, and meeting professors and other Spelman students that makes it an overall rewarding experience.”
Sonya Corley, C’2002, associate director in the Office of Admissions, agrees. .
“It gives students access to the campus like at no other time before, “said Corley, who herself participated in ADIYL as a student in 1997. “Plus, we truly cultivate relationships with students and parents. They get a real idea of what’s happening on campus. It’s also the starting point for the application process.”
This year, more than 200 guests and their families traveled from as far away as Michigan, Illinois, Texas, and Connecticut to participate in ADIYL. For the first time, the Office of Admissions employed the use of upgraded technology, which allowed guests to scan in upon arrival. The next ADIYL open house will be held Monday, Nov. 11.
No Small Feat
According to Lambry, planning ADIYL takes as long as six months. To produce the daylong event, the Office of Admissions incorporates survey results and technology upgrades, adds a roster of faculty and student speakers, and solicits the assistance of campus departments, and offices such as Educational Media, Alumnae Affairs, Facilities and Management Services, Aramark Food Services and Public Safety. In addition, student ambassadors, Housing and Residence Life, the Office of Student Affairs, Media and Information Technology, and faculty and campus leaders play a major role.
The programming is also a major production. The roster of activities include: a talk regarding academic outcomes; a keynote address on the value of a liberal arts education; financial aid and lunch and learn sessions for parents; a sisterhood social luncheon; a student discussion; and campus tours.
“We want students and their families to experience the campus and know what resources are available,” said Kimberly Ferguson, dean of students, whose office works closely with the Office of Admissions to support ADIYL. “We also want them to understand they’re making an investment that will pay off in the long run, and know that Spelman graduates global leaders who are confident and competent and able to compete with any student from any college or university.”
Angela Moultrie, said she’s convinced her daughter, Zakihia, has made the right decision.
“She likes the sisterhood and the intimate setting. I’m very excited for her,” said Moultrie, who accompanied her daughter to ADIYL. Ann Branch is just as pleased. Her daughter, Jordan, also attended ADIYL and is strongly considering Spelman.
“It was an excellent experience,” said Branch, of Louisville, Ky. “Jordan was also able to visit Spelman last summer, and had a really good visit. The tour was very helpful and gave us insight into campus life and the College’s history. It gave us an opportunity to talk with department chairs and learn what the school offers through the lunch-and-learn, information sessions, panel discussions, and information about housing and security. It was very organized and everything moved accordingly.”
So Many Choices
For Jordan Branch, the decision to attend Spelman may be a tough one. That’s because she’s also considering Oakwood University in Huntsville, Ala., for its biomedical science program.
“I really like the [Spelman] campus,” said Branch, a senior at Louisville Male Traditional High School. “Everyone is close and helps each other. Spelman also has a really good science program, which is a major draw for me, because I want to study pediatric medicine.”
Although she hasn’t finalized her decision, Branch is currently in the process of completing her Spelman application for early decision.
“A Day in Your Life definitely made me like Spelman more, and showed me what Spelman is like and what to expect.”
Story by Alicia Lurry, senior communications specialist and editor of the Spelman Connection for the Office of Communications.