Holiday tea for prospective students

Date: January 6, 2008
Time: 2-4 p.m.
Location: Home of Barbara Powell ’62

One of the big hits of the Bryn Mawr Club of Boston’s Holiday Party for Prospective students on Sunday January 6, 2008 was the Bryn Mawr Intense Intellectual Commit-mints! In a tin that can fit in your purse. Clever and useful. Almost thirty people including 11 prospective students, their parents and alumnae Barbara Powell ’62, Margaret Hoag ’86, Jane Lifton ’76, Sharon Gershman ’00, Sarah Tan ’04, Bejay Ugale ’00, and host Kyoko Yamamoto ’01 sipped tea, sampled grapes and sweets and talked about Bryn Mawr. Research from the Admissions Office indicates that a personal relationship with an alumna is key to enhancing prospective students’ chances of enrolling at Bryn Mawr.

We used the same format as in years past: Tea from 2-4 on a Sunday. Alums spoke about “What surprised me most about Bryn Mawr.” Vignettes included: the international emphasis and opportunity to meet students from all over the world, the college’s receptiveness to starting a rowing team, the way acting at Bryn Mawr was unexpected preparation for being a lawyer, work study opportunities which turned into careers–for a math major and a linguistics major, and of course, the lifelong friendships.

The prospective students were a lively and articulate bunch. They attended small private schools (Commonwealth, Beacon in Newton), elite public schools (Boston Latin, Boston University Academy ), and good suburban high schools (Brookline High, Lexington High). Two were early admits—one Posse and one student who wanted to do East Asian Studies. After the alums spoke, the prospects asked questions. Their questions were specific; they had done their homework. How difficult was it to do a double major? How about a double major in chemistry and English? How does Praxis work? Can you tell us about Peace and Conflict studies? How easy is it to do Junior Year Abroad? Was it possible to do a Junior Year Abroad if you majored in science? How can you play a varsity sport and get your work done? How does the relationship with Swarthmore and Penn differ from the relationship with Haverford? How do the women of Haverford and Bryn Mawr get along? Is there competition or friendship?

The students who had been admitted loved the Facebook discussions with current undergraduates. They found them welcoming and informative and eager to answer questions. One student who had been telephoned by an alumna to come to the Holiday Party, left the reception fired up and determined to apply.