Revisit Day Programs Begin Virtually

The photo booth and personalized Hotchkiss M&M’s can’t be found this year, but nonetheless, the school has put together an extensive virtual revisit day program, held from March 12 to April 7.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the school cancelled in-person campus tours, conducted interviews online, and made submitting standardized test scores optional. The Admission Office notified applicants of its decisions on March 10.
Revisit Days are designed to help students imagine themselves on campus. This year, the program has included Zoom sessions on life as a Prep, diversity and inclusion, athletics, arts, and the college process. On March 15, students were able to connect with faculty, attend classes, and hear students Luke Gardiner ’21 and Gunnar Overstrom ’21 interview alum Chris Meledandri ’77, founder and CEO of animation studio Illumination. Gardiner said, “I know the admissions team will do a great job of trying to help kids understand the texture and the feel of Hotchkiss.”
This year, the school created new promotional materials for the events using the phrase, “Hotchkiss Hits Different.” Mr. Erby Mitchell P ’21 , dean of admissions, said, “‘Hotchkiss Hits Different’ was a creative approach to distinguishing our strategic position during a time when families have been unable to visit campus. We took a bold marketing approach to communicate that our location, community, academic program, athletics, arts, and experience is different than at other schools. Moreover, we sought to leverage language that spoke directly to students with hopes of conveying that Hotchkiss is indeed rigorous, but fun.”
While the creation of the virtual programming was challenging at times, the admissions team worked with parents, alumni, and other community members to overcome the obstacles. Mr. Mitchell said, “One of the most important lessons I’ve learned as a result of the pandemic is just how much our current students and parents and alumni love our school. Whether participating on Zoom calls with prospective families, doing outreach to newly admitted students on social media, or delivering food for dorm or advisory gatherings, our community has stepped up.”
The Revisit Day programming continues through April 7, and the deadline for students to enroll for the 2021-2022 school year is April 10.