Today was Candidates’ Day at Villanova, a day for high school seniors to celebrate their admission to Nova Nation.
Candidates’ Day is an ideal time for prospective Villanovans and their families to learn more about the community, academic programs, and campus activities. Candidates have the opportunity to talk with faculty, students, administrators and staff; tour research facilities; eat lunch in one of the award-winning dining halls; and explore the beautiful campus. (If you would like to learn more, here is a link to some quick facts about Villanova.)
It is one of my favorite days on campus. It’s a great opportunity to meet some of the candidates and their families, and answer any questions they might have. But I think the best thing about the day is to watch the current Villanova students in action.
Some of the students get up at 5:00 in the morning to help decorate the campus with balloons and banners, and by 7:00 it seems like half the campus is awake and ready to welcome the candidates and their families to campus.
One of the great traditions of the day is when hundreds of cheering Nova students line the sidewalks all the way from the parking lot to the Pavilion, the starting point for the day, offering their congratulations to the candidates and their families. The video below gives you some sense of this awesome tradition.
When I first saw it in action a few years ago, I thought it was a little over the top. When I had the chance to ask my freshmen that Fall what they thought about it, they also seemed to think it was a little much. But at the same time, they couldn’t wait for the chance to do it themselves for next year’s candidates. I think it’s one of those things you don’t want to admit that you like, but deep inside you really do (sort of like Tony Orlando and Dawn).
And that’s not all the students do on Candidates’ Day. There were students leading a seemingly endless number of tours, giving presentations, answering questions, and simply representing themselves and the University quite well.
There was a record turnout for this year’s Candidates’ Day, and I’m sure the basketball team had something to do with that. In addition, the weather was perfect and the campus looked beautiful. There was music coming from the dorms, students outside playing Frisbee, and the bookstore packed with visitors buying their first piece of Villanova merchandise.
I’d be surprised if we don’t have record enrollments this Fall. If our amazing students, combined with an NCAA championship and a picture perfect day aren’t enough to convince someone to join Nova Nation, then I’m not sure what would be.
The best part of today is that it wasn’t just for show. This is what our students are really like, every day. They absolutely love Villanova, and welcome the opportunity to share that passion with everyone. Plus, I think we offer a great product and wonderful opportunities for our students to grow academically, socially, spiritually, and personally.
In just a few months the cycle will begin again, with a new batch of students who will become the future cheerleaders of Nova Nation.
It’s a thing of beauty.
Ignite Change. Go Nova.