Community Welcomes Admitted Students

As the lyrics to “Fair Hotchkiss” rang through Elfers Hall, admitted students and their families joined current students, locking arms and swaying from side-to-side.
Over 253 accepted students filled the halls on March 29, April 1, and April 5, for 2019’s “Hello, Hotchkiss!” revisit days, which are designed to give newly-admitted students the opportunity to experience a normal class day at Hotchkiss.
Each morning, students greeted visitors at the main entrance and led them to the Student Center, where they were offered refreshments. Visitors were then welcomed in Elfers by keynote speakers, including Sebastian Sanchez ’14, Charlotte Dillon ’10, and Instructor in Art and Fairfield Farm Curriculum Coordinator, Charlie Noyes ’78. Admitted students met current student hosts, who brought them to three shortened, 35-minute class periods. Visitors were introduced to topics like stoichiometry in chemistry or Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violence in philosophy class. They then had the opportunity to tour campus and eat lunch in the dining hall.
When pairing student hosts with admitted students, admission officers focused on mutual interests. Out of the 253 hosts, most were preps. Eliza Dana ‘22, a student host, said, “My goals were to connect with my revisit buddy and make [sure they had] a really good impression of Hotchkiss.”
Meanwhile, parents had the opportunity to visit upper-level classes, attend panels, and talk to parents of current students.
After lunch, admitted students could attend Athletics or Arts panels in which current students answered questions and shared personal experiences. Families were also able to meet with department heads in the Humanities wing, coaches in the Student Center, and art instructors in the Cullman Art Wing. Tori Ciardiello, an admitted student, said, “My favorite part was attending the Humanities classes and getting to know the student body, because it gave me a great perspective [into many] aspects of the school environment.”
Each day finished with a student performance in Elfers Hall. The orchestra, choir, and individual students performed pieces highlighting the theme of community. The school’s a cappella groups, Bluenotes and Calliope, sang “True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper, followed by a performance of “The Barber of Seville” by Rossini from the orchestra. Throughout the revisit days, the performances received standing ovations from the audience.
At the end of the day, families that had not yet toured the school were given formal tours by student guides. Ms. Hsia, senior associate director of admission, said, “These days highlight how lucky we all are to be here, in community with one another, co-creating the Hotchkiss experience.”
For many prospective students, revisit days are essential to their ability to decide between schools. Margo Donohue ‘22, a revisit host, said, “What really drove home Hotchkiss for me was the sense of community that I found here. I connected with a lot of the people, which really put my Hotchkiss revisit experience over [anywhere] else’s.”
Admitted students had until April 9 to accept or reject their places in next year’s class.