Candidates’ Day program welcomes incoming freshmen

Ally Taylor

Whether it was one, two, three or four years ago, Candidates’ Day has been a crucial factor in many students’ decisions to come to Villanova. This Saturday, the perspective class of 2010 will experience what many Villanovans have experienced in past years.

“We try in one short day to express to our visitors what Villanova’s all about,” Erin Buckley, assistant director for admissions, said.

“It’s meant to give accepted students a taste of what they can get involved in,” Chris Plentus, student chair of the Candidates’ Day Committee, said.

With approximately 75 percent of visiting students sending in deposits after attending Candidates’ Day activities, the success of this weekend is crucial in showing perspective students what their college experience could be like at Villanova.

“The reason I came here was because of Candidates’ Day,” Plentus said. “It really gave me a good experience of the school spirit, the camaraderie there.” As committee chair and one of four senior speakers during the welcoming address, Plentus hopes to show the accepted high school seniors the different opportunities available at Villanova.

One thing Plentus and the other senior speakers Saira Khan, Katie Nester and Brian Burkhard wish to stress is the value of the well-rounded student. They hope to express the point that most of the college learning experience comes from outside the classroom and stress the importance of getting involved on campus.

The senior speakers will be situated among the crowd in the Pavilion to talk to parents and perspective students and will interact with Dr. Terry Nance during her welcome address.

This will be Fr. Peter Donohue’s first year giving the presidential address as the 32nd president of Villanova University.

Michael Gaynor, director of Villanova admissions, will be presenting the admission greeting.

“Now in my 24th year at Villanova, Candidates’ Day remains one of my favorite campus events,” Gaynor wrote. “It allows me to welcome accepted students and their families to our community and to congratulate them and celebrate their many accomplishments both in and outside of the classroom.”

Gaynor, Buckley and Plentus all expressed gratitude for the involvement of Blue Key and the Villanova Ambassadors in making Candidates’ Day a success. They will be available to give campus tours and answer any questions throughout the day.

After the opening addresses, perspective students and parents will break up into their respective colleges and follow separate schedules featuring departmental open houses explaining the general requirements of each college and a speech from the college dean.

Presentations from individual majors and special programs were added to the agenda a few years ago in order to give perspective students a better idea of what majors were offered and what they could do with them after college.

During free time and lunch, perspective students and parents have the opportunity to go to various presentations from campus departments, like Campus Ministry or Financial Aid, or visit the Activities Forum in the Oreo. The Villanova men’s basketball team will also make an appearance.

“I think the dads [will] enjoy it more than the kids,” Plentus said about the opportunity to meet Villanova’s team.

Buckley discussed an increasing interest among perspective students to spend a full weekend rather than one day at Villanova. About one-third of Candidates’ Day participants will come on Friday and spend the weekend.

New to this year’s activities, events are scheduled on Friday in order to accommodate those wishing to spend more time at Villanova. Select professors will give a presentation on their philosophies of education Friday afternoon, and a casual dinner will be held in the Spit afterwards.

The Candidates’ Day committee has also decided to promote Saturday’s Multicultural Student League Night in order to showcase one of many opportunities Villanova has to offer and give students wishing to spend the night something to do. MSL Night will feature food and performances from different cultural groups on campus.

“Villanova will never be the perfect school for everyone,” Plentus said. He expressed an interest simply to represent the best side of Villanova possible while showing the opportunities the University has to offer. From there, students can decide on their own if Villanova is right for them.