Droplets of rainwater splattered the pavement of Drew University on Oct. 14, but they did not arrive as hastily as the families that joined Drew’s Open House. Despite the gray clouds, staff members and current students welcomed dozens of families with grins on their faces.
Beginning in Mead Hall, prospective students were given a black drawstring bag with a green plastic cup along with a map of campus. Walking up the grand stairs on the outside, attendees entered a room on the left that provided dozens of donuts, cups with fruit, apple cider and hot coffee to get the day started.
Inside the T-shaped main hall, visitors spoke to professors of all disciplines including STEM, humanities, business, economics, media and communications and social sciences. Prospective students who were interested in attending Drew were able to have their questions about Drew’s 40 majors, 59 minors and 19 dual-degree programs answered.
After breakfast, families were directed to the Concert Hall of the Dorothy Young Center for the Arts, where a cappella group 36 Madison Avenue performed two songs for the audience.
The room became packed with people as the melodies filled in the gaps.
“As a freshman this year, I very much remember the feeling of touring colleges and seeing what each school had to offer,” said Frankie Mailley (‘27), one of the a cappella members. “Seeing how well the a cappella groups performed when I visited left me with a very good impression of the arts culture at Drew, so I was happy to help recreate that feeling for the new prospective students.”
After the performance, President Hilary Link and Dean Ryan Hinrichs went up to the podium to welcome the families to the liberal arts college.
Following their brief speeches, four current students from different years entered the stage to share their stories of living at Drew, giving prospective students an opportunity to hear authentic student experiences.
“To have that in-depth experience and be able to speak thoroughly about it is great,” said Rudy Cazenave (‘25), a finance and international relations double major and one of the student panel speakers. “And when you combine that with proximity of people who are really invested in your success, it’s a special feeling and it will really carry us far forward.”
After the speakers in the Concert Hall finished, families and students were directed to the Ehinger Center, where the Ranger Resource Fair occurred. The fair featured department tables, a build-your-own Ranger Bear plush station and a chance to meet the official Drew mascot: Ranger Bear himself.
Visitors were able to meet faculty from various Drew departments, such as the Counseling Department, Center for Civic Engagement, Academics, Athletics, the University Library and the Methodist Archives.
In Crawford Hall, visiting students also joined sessions such as Launch: Academic Opportunities that Go Beyond, as well as Financial Aid & Scholarships. Apart from these informative sessions, people had the option to tour the campus and eat a meal at The Commons.
Despite Mother Nature’s attempts to rain on Drew’s parade, the open house was a tremendous success. Families and prospective students left Drew University excited about what Drew had to offer them.
Jodi Velez is a first-year majoring in media and communications and minoring in creative writing.