Sunday, March 12th was a peak recruitment event on the Glendon campus, as applicants and their families were given the warm, international welcome that is Glendon’s hallmark.
The brand new ‘Circle of Scholars Breakfast’ welcomed close to 60 guests – top applicants with the highest academic achievement in high school, accompanied by members of their family. The magnificently decorated Albert Tucker Room, overlooking the Don River valley, was filled with classical music provided by Glendonites Paulo Bittencourt and Cristina Raimondo (BA 2005). Greeted by Glendon principal Kenneth McRoberts and director of recruitment and liaison Tobi Strohan, each invited student received a long-stem rose – a symbol of the campus’ beauty and close links to nature. The guests were joined for an elegant sit-down breakfast by some of the university’s VIPs, among them president Lorna Marsden, and Glendon’s associate principals Louise Lewin and Françoise Boudreau. The hosting committee, each of whom sat at one of the tables, also included some of Glendon’s current highest achievers: Charmaine Bene, Karen Campbell, Graham Gallagher, Natalie Riggs and Bobby Jo Saucier.
President Lorna Marsden with Andrea Bucholz and her mother at the Top Scholars' Breakfast
President Marsden was eloquent in her description of what makes Glendon special, namely its outstanding faculty and excellent students. Marsden and principal McRoberts were also proud to point out some of the college’s famous and successful alumni, among them award-winning journalist Chantal Hébert; John McNee, Canada’s ambassador to the UN; former federal Minister of Transport David Collenette; and former Canadian Ambassador to Thailand Andrew McAlister.
Top student Charmaine Bene (at the back) with top scholar Jennifer Manderson (far right) and her parents
During the breakfast, outstanding Glendon scholar Charmaine Bene, herself a ‘top applicant’ four years ago, was the keynote speaker and a living example of principal McRoberts’ message to the group, that top high school students can excel at Glendon, and will receive every encouragement and support to do so. Bene described her Glendon experience and the opportunities she has received here – including a third year of study in Seville (Spain) - with enthusiasm.
Guests included many residents of the GTA and the surrounding areas, but some came from as far away as Nepean (near Ottawa) to the east, London to the west, and Sarnia to the south. They were joined at their tables by hosts from the same general locations, or similar academic interests. The breakfast was followed by a tour of the campus, lead by Bene, and organized especially for this group, but participants were warmly invited to take part in the events planned for the rest of the day for all potential students and their families.
Back to the main event…. By 10 a.m. the entrance hall of historic Glendon Manor was buzzing with visitors, who were enjoying fresh croissants and coffee, and the lively jazz provided by the Glendon Student Musical Ensemble. Most of the visiting students had already applied to Glendon and came to research the campus, the programs and student services, as well as student life, before making their final choice of university for the coming fall. One of Glendon’s largest open house events ever, over 400 visitors were welcomed on campus. The three rotating information sessions touched on careers, details about admissions and finances, as well as a ‘Q and A Café’. The ‘café’ introduced current students Amandine Perdebat and Oliver Vidal, who had prepared a slide presentation detailing a week in their student life. By featuring Perdebat, a Franco-Ontarian commuter to school, and Vidal, an Anglophone who lives in residence, visitors received answers to most of their questions about student life from the real-life experience of these two students.
Cristina Raimondo and Paulo Bittencourt provided the music at the breakfast
By all accounts, the visitors were delighted with the programs and the highly informative content of the sessions. Emily Pittman of Iroquois Ridge High School said, "I loved the personal touch we received at this open house: the splendid breakfast, the rose, the music. I hope to major in International Studies and found the question-and-answer session especially informative."
Another guest, Marley Higham, came with her mother and her aunt. "I am interested in studying French, drama and women's studies - all of which are offered on the Glendon campus”, she declared, and added “I found the 'admissions and finances' session particularly informative. I learned about grants and bursaries available to me that I wasn't even aware of." Marley's mother commented, "We didn't even have to ask the questions we had prepared, because the information sessions provided all the answers. What a great program." And Marley's aunt declared that she loved the campus and the presentations and was seriously considering registering as a part-time mature student. That would make Glendon a family affair for Marley Higham.
"I am particularly interested in the International Studies program, as well as the language and creative writing courses offered at Glendon", explained Jennifer Manderson of Sir William Mulock Secondary School in Newmarket. "There are so many excellent learning opportunities on this campus in all of these fields."
"I don't have any French so far", said Jessica Schafer of J. Clarke Richardson Secondary School in Ajax, "but I hope to learn some while studying English and teacher education, and Glendon seems to be the right place to do that."
From 11 a.m. for the rest of the day, visitors could join a campus tour and also a residence tour led by student ambassadors, who really knew their stuff. The guests appreciated having a chance to actually see the inside of the residences and some rooms, visiting the brand new art gallery, and getting a real look at campus life.
The extensive information fair in the cafeteria welcomed visitors from 11 o’clock on, with tables for every academic program, and each student service. The tables were staffed by members of the teaching faculty and specialists working in the service areas, such as student security, career and personal counselling, athletics and the theatre. Representatives of student clubs were also in attendance.
The Information Fair in the cafeteria
Recruitment events, including this March Break Open House, are developed under the leadership of recruitment and liaison manager Isabelle Creusot, whose attention to detail and organizational skills are reflected in their success. Much praise is due to the entire recruitment and liaison team, Léa Bertrand, Dave Leavitt, Tobi Strohan and Carol Yorkden-Chamberlain and all the participating student ambassadors whose hard work and collaboration made this such a successful day.
Said one visitor at the end of the day, “I feel that I have a very good idea of what it’s like to be a Glendon student. I can’t wait to become one. “
Article submitted by Glendon communications officer Marika Kemeny