his year Homecoming and Columbus Day, the events that attract the most prospective students to campus, have fallen only two days apart, said Ashley Pyle, director of campus visits and events.
“It’s our golden opportunity to showcase what an awesome place this is,” Pyle said.
ACU expects between 125-150 prospective students to attend Wildcat Premiere Weekend, said Leah Kaszycki, campus visits manager. She said the weekend also draws more family members to campus than most Wildcat Preview Days, putting the total number of expected visitors around 300.
About eight administrative councilors, 14 student guides and a spectrum of faculty will offer guests a glimpse into a day in the life of an ACU student, Kaszycki said. Visitors can enjoy the Homecoming events – including the parade, football game and carnival – in addition to the preview’s scheduled events.
Prospective students will get a taste of the classroom setting with Dr. Steven Moore, assistant professor of English, and Dr. Stephen Johnson, assistant professor of theology, Kaszycki said. The two professors will discuss ACU’s teaching philosophy and core curriculum in Hart Auditorium.
George Pendergrass, director of student multicultural enrichment, will offer guests a look into ACU’s diversity in Cultural Experiences, the newest addition to the special interest sessions, Kaszycki said. Multiethnic students will also share their experiences at the university.
“There’s a lot more cultural diversity here than people think,” Kaszycki said.
The athletically inclined will have an opportunity to toss around a football with ACU head coach Chris Thomsen, Pyle said. Although Thomsen has been involved in preview days before, this will be his first year to welcome students at the Wildcat Premiere Weekend.
“It gives students the opportunity to see how very real and down-to-earth the people are here and that they can develop real relationships with them,” Pyle said.
Kaszycki said Homecoming Chapel is one event visitors particularly enjoy.
“Chapel – you can’t beat going to that, especially Fridays,” Kaszycki said.
Perhaps the most exciting event of the weekend for many prospective students is ACU’s Homecoming game, Kaszycki said. The pregame tailgate party is part of the visitors’ schedule, and Kaszycki predicted an opportunity to see a Wildcat victory for those who stay for the football game.
“They’ve had a really good season,” Kaszycki said. “They’re unbeatable, and will continue to be unbeatable.”
Pyle said she hopes professors and students will keep an eye out for visitors on campus and do their best to welcome them.
“It’s a team effort,” Pyle said. “You’ll never know how you’ll impact a prospective student.”