|by Jim Amidon • November 11, 2005|
Aside from Monon Bell, this really is a big day for Wabash. On Friday, the Admissions Office will host its second largest visit day of the year (second only to Honor Scholarship Weekend in March).
Nearly 200 young men arrived on campus Friday morning for Top 10 Scholarship Visit Day. The event has evolved into an opportunity for some of the brightest prospective students in Wabash’s applicant pool to visit the College. And there’s a lot of money on the line for those men who come for the weekend. (See photo album for pictures from today's visit)
Dean Steve Klein said students who are ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating classes can qualify for up to $15,000 (per year) in scholarships. The guys in the top five percent get the biggest award, which is valued at $60,000 over four years; men who rank in the top 10 percent, but not the upper five percent, get $12,500 per year.
Offers this good usually come with catches. And there are a few in this case, too. The students have to attend the visit day; apply for admission; and be accepted.
Doesn’t sound all that bad for as much as $60,000 in scholarships!
Dean Klein thinks we’ll have about 200 guys show up for the visit day, plus many will also come with their parents for about 300 total participants. It’s a full day of tours and presentations, but the real focus is on Wabash’s alumni who will be out in force to talk with the prospective students.
The theme for the Top 10 Scholarship Visit Day is "You can go anywhere from here." See, too many bright students aren’t sure what to do with a liberal arts degree, so they rule out a school like Wabash before ever stepping foot on campus.
Big time scholarship money is the bait to get them here. Once they meet our alumni and see what they have done with their liberal arts degrees, perhaps they’ll think differently about Wabash and the liberal arts.
Dean Klein and his staff have done a great job of bringing to campus a cross section of alumni who demonstrate the varied career paths liberal arts grads pursue. And it’s not a stacked deck; all of the guys coming back were chosen because of their age (younger than the prospective students’ parents) rather than their unique accomplishments.
But like the alumni body as a whole, it’s an amazing and diverse group. From New York City lighting designer Marcus Doshi ’97 to pediatric cardiologist Josh Robinson ’97, the alumni fully represent all possible career fields.
The keynote speaker is Tom Denari, one of the oldest participants at 42, who is the president of the Young & Laramore advertising agency in Indianapolis. Denari and Y&L are the creative brains behind the highly successful Steak-N-Shake and Goodwill Industries commercials.
Then there’s Bill Wheeler, who majored in English, captained an undefeated football team, and is now the Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer of MetLife! An English major turned treasurer — think about it!
After graduating four years ago, David Woessner went to Georgia Tech, where he earned two master’s degrees — in mechanical engineering and business administration. What a combo!
Dan Hartnett graduated six years ago and is almost done with his Ph.D. in Spanish language and literature at the University of Virginia. When not in class, he coordinates a teaching with technology initiative at UVA. Combining technology and language study — makes you wonder what you CAN’T do with a liberal arts degree. (And Dan earned a music major at Wabash!)
So not only is this Monon Bell week, it is, obviously, an important week for the Wabash Admissions Office. Klein and his staff will bring to campus 200 really bright high school students from all over the country. Using alumni as living examples of the liberal arts is a brilliant move and a sure answer to the question, "What do I do with a liberal arts degree?"
In photo: History professor Rick Warner talks with a prospect during the morning registration period.