University News

Prefrosh descend on campus for ADOCH

By
Senior Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Around 660 high school seniors swarmed onto campus yesterday to spend a day — or two — on College Hill.

Prospective students came to campus to attend A Day On College Hill, the University’s annual event for admitted students, from as far as Moscow, Morocco and Tanzania, and as close as Rhode Island, according to Ruth Shefner ’13 and Victor Bartash ’13, co-coordinators of the program.

Students accepted through early decision were not invited to ADOCH, though they were invited to attend a separate event last month.

After checking in late yesterday afternoon, prospective students were led to Pembroke campus for a barbecue to get to know their future classmates. While students made small talk, parents proudly listed their childrens’ other elite options at the parents’ reception in the lobby of Salomon Center.

Paul and Huong Beck came from Orange County, Calif., with their daughter, Laura, who is deciding between Brown and the University of California at Los Angeles. “We have to make the decision with her,” Paul Beck said.

Laura is hoping to study visual arts, so the Rhode Island School of Design’s proximity makes Brown an attractive option, though the weather in Los Angeles could tip the scale, they said.

Jonathan Coleman traveled from Charlottesville, Va., with his daughter Logan, who is deciding between Brown, Duke University — where she has received the full-ride Robertson Scholarship — Princeton and Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

Coleman’s parents are self-employed, so her decision will depend on financial aid. “I need to see if Brown can match the other offers,” she said.

Damon McIntire, who also came from Charlottesville, said there is “no question” he will come to Brown. “People are really welcoming, helpful and committed to helping their peers, which I don’t think you see often at a college of this caliber,” he said.

Maria Pabon, who flew to Brown from Puerto Rico, is almost as confident as McIntire. Though she is “99 percent sure” she will come to Brown, she said she is going to check out Penn after ADOCH.

Prospective students expressed positive attitudes about the campus and its surrounding city. “People always make (Providence) out to be kind of shady, but I didn’t get that impression at all. It’s a really nice size and there’s a lot to do,” said Rebecca Lullo from Naperville, Ill.

Trevor Klee from Connecticut agreed. “Its magnificence is on par with the lost city of Atlantis,” he said. “I heard that they had a great mall.”

After the barbecue, students headed to the Main Green for a welcome from Dean of Admission Jim Miller ’73 and Ken Miller ’70 P’02, professor of biology, where Jim Miller congratulated the prospective students on making the cut out of 31,000 applicants — the largest applicant pool in Brown’s history.

“We have very small aspirations for all of you,” Miller said. “We want you to go out and change the world.”

Miller urged the prospective students to go with their guts when making their college decision. After the welcome, he encouraged them to stand in the middle of the Main Green, surrounded by history and the beauty of the campus, and listen to their stomachs and hearts rather than their brains.

When Ken Miller got up to speak, he informed the audience that many of them already knew him as the author of a popular high school biology textbook.

In an effort to woo prospective students, Miller said Brown offers faculty the promise of cutting-edge research and positive student interaction.

The open curriculum also distinguishes Brown from other schools, Miller said. While at other schools, where there are core or distribution requirements forcing students to take classes they are not interested in, at Brown, students want to take the classes that they are enrolled in.

This is an incentive for eminent faculty to teach introductory courses, Miller said. “When I walk into my general biology course, I know that every single student wants to be there.”

Miller recalled an opening convocation speech he gave in 2005, during which he greeted incoming students with, “Welcome to trade school.” Brown students are like tradesmen because they fashion their own education, he said.

The welcome ceremony concluded with a 20-minute video that included clips from movies and television shows that relate to Brown, interviews with current students about why they love the school and panoramic shots of campus. The video was completely new this year.

“We wanted to make more of an emotionally driven video that would make the kids feel moved,” Bartash said.

The video began with a clip of President Ruth Simmons at a previous opening convocation ceremony — except Simmons seemed to be transformed into a techno-trance music artist with the phrase “energized by your immense potential to join a vibrant community” continuously repeated to club music.

Segments of the video were animated, employing stop-motion technique to depict life at Brown. There were also clips from “The Simpsons,” “Family Guy” and “Sex and the City,” along with several movies that mentioned Brown — causing the audience to erupt in laughter.

Later in the evening, prospective students were treated to two talent shows featuring student performers such as Badmaash, the Poler Bears, Fusion Dance Company and Special Browniez among others. An ice cream social on the Main Green followed the show, and the party continued late into the evening with many events including a mixer hosted by the Black Student Union, a comedy show and arch sings.

Today prospective students will have the opportunity to sit in on classes, attend lectures and hear Simmons speak. They can also attend several panels about pre-medical and pre-law tracks and learn about student groups at a noon activities fair in the Olney-Margolies Athletic Center.