The Wednesday rain could not stop the annual flood of excited prefrosh that filled Old Campus Wednesday.
Bulldog Days, the University’s three-day event to welcome admitted students, runs Wednesday through Friday. The admissions office made several changes to the event’s schedule this year, including adding new panels and showcases, said Liz Kinsley ’05, associate director of admissions and director of outreach and recruitment, in an email Tuesday night.
Kinsley said the admissions office expects roughly 1,200 of its 2,006 prefrosh, who will go to “master classes” with prominent members of the faculty, attend an academic fair and extracurricular bazaar, and stay with student hosts across campus. The attendees are a mix of future Elis and those still trying to choose a school: Of 10 admitted students interviewed, five said they had already decided to attend Yale.
“It’s very overwhelming, but in a fulfilling way — I’ve been here before, but not having been accepted,” said Ariana Fernandez, a prefrosh from Virginia. “I’m set on Yale, and being here reaffirms it even more.”
Of the five admitted students who were at Bulldog Days to gather information because they were still undecided, three said they were choosing between Yale and Harvard.
David Peprah, a prefrosh from New York, said he visited Princeton last week and thought it was “nice,” but that Yale was “amazing.” Now, he said, he’s choosing between Yale and Harvard.
During registration Wednesday afternoon, Dwight Hall — the hub of Bulldog Days activity on Old Campus — was surrounded by prefrosh and their parents. Current students advertising their extracurricular groups also dotted Old Campus, many sporting umbrellas to stave off the light rain. The Yale Ballroom Dance team danced outside Dwight Hall to music issuing from the building.
Changes to the program this year include the addition of more master classes, which will now be offered on all three days.
The schedule also includes a new panel called “Yale and Your Career: Taking the World Stage,” which will take place in the Law School auditorium on Thursday. The panel will feature Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Jeffrey Brenzel, Dean of International and Professional Experience Jane Edwards, Associate Director of Career Services John Bau and Director of the Association of Yale Alumni Mark Dollhopf ’77, as well as student panelists.
A Bulldog Days welcome showcase featuring a Yale 2015 welcome video, an address by Brenzel, and a number of Yale performance groups and individual students was also a new addition to the schedule and took place Wednesday night in the Schubert Theater.
In an email Wednesday evening, Brenzel said he planned to speak about the sense of shock and mourning the Yale community is feeling as a result of the loss of Michele Dufault ’11, a Saybrook College senior who died Tuesday night in an accident in Sterling Chemistry Laboratory.
“As we corresponded with hundreds of students, faculty and administrators starting from early this morning, we have been flooded with offers of help and encourage[ment] to sustain our program for the 1,200 admitted students and 800 of their parents coming to join our community for Bulldog Days,” Brenzel said. “Virtually all of our hosts, including the students we contacted living in the college proper in Saybrook, have indicated back to us that they thought they could best honor Michele by sustaining their commitments to our guests.”
Bulldog Days continues today with a welcome address by Yale College Dean Mary Miller, an academic fair where professors from almost every department will answer questions about Yale’s academic programs and the extracurricular bazaar, where over 300 student groups will tell prefrosh about their organizations.