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New event gives admitted Spartans a chance to explore JMC

April 21, 2022 - Beth Brauer

Michigan State University was busier than usual last weekend as MSU’s Office of Admissions hosted an Admitted Student Day on Saturday, April 16. The event was tied to the spring football game, allowing prospective families to experience firsthand the campus spirit.

The event was inspired by the university’s desire to offer the incoming fall 2022 class an opportunity to visit campus as the pandemic has limited such opportunities over the last 24 months.

On-campus visits are one of the most critical conversion points for admitted students and scheduling an all-university open house in conjunction with the Green and White football game gave students and families the chance to feel the energy that makes MSU’s campus among the best to visit.

Beginning at 9 a.m., students and their families could attend a variety of experiences from their host college and other areas on campus such as the MSU Museum, Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Education Abroad and more. 

From academic sessions to building tours to sessions highlighting various resources available, the morning provided opportunities to engage with faculty, staff and current students.

people standing in the library of JMC near a table with education abroad information

“The day really allowed admitted students to get beyond what is written about us on our website or in a brochure, and experience firsthand the support they can have at JMC and the unique ways they can engage in topics of public policy and international affairs,” said Emelia Hammond, recruitment coordinator for James Madison College.

Program sessions were organized as an open house, providing attendees the freedom to come and go as needed. For some students, this was the event that helped them determine whether they would commit to MSU or not.

Nick Cockels had made his decision to accept MSU’s offer for admission prior to Admitted Student Day; however, having a chance to tour campus in person helped both him and his family to feel confident with that decision.

“I got the feeling we were in a small college until we toured campus. That’s when Nick began to realize how huge MSU really is,” said Merrily McDonald, Cockels' mother.

The size of the campus certainly was not a deterrent for Cockels as he found what he needed in James Madison. “I thought the best part about the day was learning about Case Hall and experiencing the activities that were there; I should know where everything is and the general vibe,” Cockels said.

James Madison is a residential college that offers a unique living-learning environment where students attend classes and (initially) live in the same building where the college is housed. For many students interested in MSU, they were also investigating whether the residential college experience was the right fit for their goals.

JMC saw approximately 400 people come through the doors of Case Hall. One of the featured sessions included a panel discussion about the Russian invasion of Ukraine with international relations faculty experts.

 An audience of students and families seated in Club Spartan listening to the panel discussion.

“As a top-tier public affairs college, we were grateful to have some of our faculty members weigh in on a current event that is on our minds. We are fortunate to have this sort of expertise and commitment to engage in meaningful dialogue about world affairs,” said Cameron Thies, dean and MSU Foundation Professor.

As the university processes feedback about the success of the event, for JMC, the popular sentiment expressed is that this was an event the college would like to see become an annual tradition.

“For it being our first time running this event, it was incredibly successful. We were able to showcase the true spirit of JMC through having deans, faculty, staff and students all excited to show up and give admitted students and their families a sense of what is possible in this college,” Hammond said.