Spring admissions events draw close to 20,000 visitors
The arrival of spring is a beautiful time at Virginia Tech as the campus begins its transition to healthy green foliage, colorful blooms, and warmer temperatures. Spring is also the season for prospective Hokies and their loved ones to flock to Blacksburg and explore the country’s Third Best College Campus, according to Niche. Most visitors come to attend events coordinated by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, and that means all-hands-on-deck for Juan Espinoza and the admissions team.
“We were so excited to welcome students and their families to campus again for spring events,” said Espinoza, associate vice provost for enrollment and degree management and director of undergraduate admissions. “The pandemic, of course, forced the cancellation of in-person events, so it has been two years since we last held our spring events. For many of our prospects, the campus visit is what moves them to choose Virginia Tech. So these events are very important, and we want to make sure our guests have the best experience when they visit Virginia Tech.”
Spring visitation events began in mid-March with Spring Open House, which is designed for high school juniors but open to all prospects. This year, more than 5,100 guests visited campus over the two days of Open House. In April, Hokie Focus attracted more than 7,300 visitors to campus. Hokie Focus is specifically for high school seniors and transfer students who have been admitted to Virginia Tech.
Both Open House and Hokie Focus are weekend events that follow similar formats, beginning with welcome sessions held in Burruss Hall. Students and their guests are seated according to the prospects’ college of interest, with volunteers from the Corps of Cadets meticulously directing everyone to fill in all 3,003 seats in the auditorium. Hokie Focus featured a live DJ, and the cadets worked up a little friendly competition between the colleges to see who could best respond to the call of "Let’s Go!" with a resounding "Hokies!"
“For the larger events, it is not unusual for us to host from 5,000 to more than 7,000 guests over a weekend,” Espinoza said. “What’s great is that they truly witness Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) at work, as Hokies from several offices, clubs, organizations, academic and residential areas work together to ensure our guests and their families have positive and memorable experiences.”
Attendees of Open House and Hokie Focus also hear messages from current students, Virginia Tech President Tim Sands, and Dean of Students Byron Hughes, who give their perspective on the value of a Virginia Tech education and why it should be the prospects' ultimate choice to call home.
After the welcome sessions, Hokie Ambassadors escort guests to designated locations on campus to attend selected college information sessions. Hokie Ambassadors also keep the energy flowing from their tent on the front steps of Burruss Hall where they launch guided campus tours and answer questions.
“The spring admissions events are some of the most rewarding times for Hokie Ambassadors," said Seth Jarvis, president of the organization. “It’s so great seeing all the families visiting and even better when we hear the stories of how the event convinced them to come to Tech!”
Hokie Ambassadors and admissions staff stay busy providing information and directions to such places as the award-winning dining facilities, select residence halls offering tours, or Squires Student Center, where college and departmental representatives await inside Commonwealth Ballroom to answer questions.
Immediately following Hokie Focus are back-to-back weeks of High School Spring Break, which offer daily information sessions and campus tours for high school juniors, high schools seniors with an offer of admission, and transfer students with an offer of admission. An additional 7,000 visitors registered to arrive over the two-week period.
“Virginia Tech remains one of the most sought-after universities in the country,” Espinoza added. “To have so many students coming to see what we’re all about says a lot about the Virginia Tech brand and what it stands for. We should all be very proud to call ourselves Hokies.”