Selling the dream

UND plays host to 2,000 prospective students and their families over two days last week

UND Legacy Open House

The UND Admissions Legacy Open House, now in its second year, drew about 2,000 prospective students and their families to campus last weekend. Photo by Tyler Ingham.

It’s a one-of-a-kind event that helps high school students live the tradition and pride of the UND experience.

The UND Admissions Legacy Open House, now in its second year, drew about 2,000 visitors, including prospective students and family members to campus last weekend.

“We wanted students to get more out of the campus visit,” said Jason Trainer, director of admissions. “We wanted them to have an authentic UND experience that fits their needs.”

Held on the third Thursday and Friday in October when schools are on break for the Minnesota Educator Academy and the North Dakota Educators Association conferences, the event offered campus, residence hall and dining center tours as well as the opportunity to attend mock classes, visit one-on-one with faculty members and experience campus life.

Jason Trainer

Jason Trainer, UND director of admissions, addresses a crowd of prospective students and their parents at the Chester Fritz Auditorium for UND’s second running of its Legacy Open House. The event drew about 2,000 prospective students and their families. Photo by Tyler Ingham.

Four large, high-energy presentations at the Chester Fritz Auditorium over the two days mixed with one-on-one activities that let prospective students experience UND their way.

“It’s a lot of fun,” said Trainer. “The students like the interaction with other students.”

“The 10 a.m. Friday presentation was unbelievable,” said Trainer. “The lower level of the Fritz was filled with students and families.” Energetic presentations, video greetings, fight songs by the Pride of the North Marching Band and a feature on alum and Thunderbirds pilot Nick Eberling kept students engaged and let them be part of UND for a day.

Developed around the Legacy admissions campaign, the open house highlights traditions of UND and legacies from alumni. It paints a picture of the future for prospective students, explained Trainer, who said he visited with one family that had visited eight college campuses.

“UND was the best experience they had,” he said.

Three years ago, before the open house began, UND Admissions hosted about 750 traditional visitors over the two days, and they were at capacity for campus tours. They piloted the open house format last year, drawing 1,500 people. This year, guests numbered 2,000.

Will this yield more students on campus? It’s too early to tell, but Trainer is optimistic, and said they will definitely continue the Legacy Open House.

“We want to be the destination for the best scholars and student leaders in the state,” said Trainer. “We want those students to feel wanted and to know that UND wants them here.”

“We sell the dream,” Trainer said. “If students are willing to work hard, this University will transform you into something special. Our students are walking testimonials to that process.”

To continue selling the dream, admitted students will be invited back to campus in Spring 2017 for a more in-depth academic experience with their degree program of choice.

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