by Aimee Stauff
Pictures by Art Cox and Ardee Coolidge
Patrick Henry College
Holly Vradenburgh, PHC Alumna,
Fifty-four admitted students and their families from 24 states crowded through campus in April in the largest admitted student day event in PHC history. Approximately 165 students and family members arrived on campus for the event, and featured 54 admitted students, a decided increase from the 44 of last year. The event was so large that a section of U.S. History and Western Civilizations had to be moved to Nash Auditorium to accommodate the contingent of prospective students.
“I always feel like admitted student day is charged with a lot more energy than open house days,” said William Kellaris, Assistant Vice President of Enrollment Management.
The day featured an array of panel discussions, lectures from the president, provost, and chancellor of the school, and alumni speaker Holly Vradenburgh, a recent graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law.
While the activities showcased the rigor and excellence of PHC academics, the day-long event, perhaps more importantly, reinforced the intimate sense of community that PHC offers.
“There’s only so much that a paid staff can do to represent the atmosphere and daily life of the college,” Kellaris said. “It is really interacting with the students that tells prospective students and their parents what it’s really like here”
Admitted Student Day has the highest success rate of any PHC admissions event: usually over 80 percent of admitted students at the event commit to attend PHC. That means that students have completed the admissions process and interview, and have submitted a financial deposit. As of Tuesday, the number of incoming students committed to attending, including those not at the event, was 76.
Admitted students talk to PHC professors and
Since many students commit to a college in May, according to admissions counselor Aaron Kamakiwiwoole, increasing the class size may be possible. “I think that’s a very real goal because right now we have four admissions counselors instead of two,” he said of the increased manpower focused on recruitment.
For prospective students like Andrew Napier, an incoming fall 2013 student who currently works at the Alliance for Defending Freedom, the chance to attend PHC remains a top priority.
“He’s a really solid applicant, he loves the Lord so much and is really inspirational,” Kamakiwiwoole said, adding that professors, student ambassadors and average PHC students make a lasting impact on admitted students.
“Routinely,” he added, “you’ll find people who really get excited because they get to see the other kinds of people that Patrick Henry is attracting and they get to see just a smidgen of the class that’s coming in.”