The first of three Admitted Student Days for the class of 2026 was held on April 9 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Students were welcomed in Buntrock Commons and invited to participate in various events around campus. On the Admitted Students Day events webpage, students could register for a campus tour, conversation with an admission’s officer, meeting with financial aid, and lunch. Community panels were also offered to students and their guests. The panels featured International and Off-Campus Studies, a student panel on campus life, the Piper Center for Vocation and Career, and music at St. Olaf.
Admissions officers and fellows worked together to host admitted students on campus. Around 40 to 50 admissions fellows are on the student panels. Fellows also conduct campus tours and assist with a variety of activities, including welcoming guests and signing them in, to be there and support the officers, faculty, and visitors.
“There’s a lot more opportunities for touring and then there’s a lot of opportunities for panels and engaging with students outside of tours,” said Admissions Fellow Emily Trendle ’24. “The goal is to interact and let them know that if they need anything we’re there to do that for them.”
This past Admitted Students Day, campus was filled with admitted students and their guests that admissions officers and fellows directed around campus. “I think that on this last admitted student day, we had about 300 students or so come. They were all super excited and respectful of everything here regarding the protocols. Everyone had a lot of fun,” said Admissions Fellow Darby Wilson ‘24.
The COVID-19 protocols remain the same for the visiting students as they are for the current St. Olaf community. “We had two days where we were still masking with our visitors, but now it’s more of an optional space that on admitted student day most of them did mask. It’s a respectful boundary between the tour guide and the students of whether they want to mask or not,” Wilson said, “They were not required to mask, but if either the tour guide or visitor wanted to be masked they could respectfully ask the other party.”
Aside from the expected activities of an admitted students day, this admitted students weekend also provided students with a chance to deposit on the spot. Wilson describes how her initial expectations for helping with the first admitted students day were met. “I’ve seen panels and busy times but the big difference was how large it was and how buzzing since it was moved to Buntrock,” Wilson said. “There was a space if any admitted student came and wanted to deposit right then they could. There was a little red carpet area where they could go and sign their name on a big OLE button. So all of that coming together and the amount of people was definitely shocking, but it was fun.”
Students are also welcome to a reception that is usually held on Fridays. This allows students to get to know each other, but there are also other opportunities for admitted students to engage with their future classmates. “There’s students mingling anyway just because when they are going up to the Caf they run into each other. A lot of them also connect with people that they have connected with on the class of 2026 Facebook group,” Trendle said.
Admitted students are welcome to register for events on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. A feature of the Friday visit is that students can sign up for a Twilight Tour. This tour allows students to see parts of campus that are not usually shown on the typical tour, allowing them to explore more of the library and the rooms in Holland. Tour guides present these spaces to give the students more insight into what current students’ lives on campus are like.
The next admitted students weekend will be held on April 23.