Sporting matching blue T-shirts and drawstring backpacks, admitted students from every corner of the world descended on Old Campus Monday afternoon for the start of Bulldog Days.
More than 1,100 students admitted to Yale’s class of 2020, along with 900 parents and family members, will be on campus exploring the University’s academic and extracurricular offerings this week. While at Yale, prospective students can attend a multitude of panels, forums and master classes planned just for visitors over the next two days. More than 200 student organizations will participate in today’s extracurricular bazaar, and more than 100 departments and resource centers will be represented at the academic fair. Bulldog Days will conclude tomorrow afternoon with a pizza party on Old Campus.
“I am very excited to meet this class of 2020, the final class before the historic expansion of Yale College,” Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Jeremiah Quinlan said Monday night. “As sophomores, this class will be called upon to be the pioneers for a new Yale, developing customs and establishing rituals that will become forever engrained in the Yale story. This class will work closely with faculty and staff to harness the energy of expansion and growth.”
Last night, Quinlan officially welcomed visiting students and their families to campus in a speech at the Shubert Theater, which was followed by a showcase of performing arts groups. University Provost Benjamin Polak and Yale College Dean Jonathan Holloway will give the official welcome address in Woolsey Hall this afternoon.
While on campus, visiting students will stay in one of over 500 on-campus suites that have been offered up by current students.
“I am always in awe of the enthusiasm and generosity of the entire Yale community, who open their doors and make time to connect with your visitors,” Director of Outreach and Recruitment Mark Dunn ’07 said.
Master classes — taught by 11 faculty volunteers — will be held throughout the week in fields like physics, psychology and political science. Students and their families can also attend panels related to college life and tours of the residential colleges. One new panel this year will focus on the Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity and Transnational Migration, which was established in February.
In addition to these keynote events, Yale’s four cultural centers were popular destinations for visiting students interviewed. Ale Canales, an admitted student from Texas, said she is interested in spending time at La Casa Cultural and the Yale Women’s Center while on campus, adding that it is important to her that Yale has a physical space for minority students. Wilson He, an admitted student from Virginia, said he plans to visit the Asian American Cultural Center and the Native American Cultural Center.
He, who said he is definitely attending Yale, added that he plans to attend a Yale Political Union debate and is interested in joining one of the YPU’s political parties once he arrives on campus as a student in August.
George Zhang, an admitted student from Orange, Connecticut, said he is primarily interested in attending master classes during his time on campus. He added that he has already accepted Yale’s admission offer and plans to major in an engineering-related field.
Some students interviewed remain undecided as to whether they will attend Yale. Arnav Sharma, who hopes to major in computer science and who is from New York, said he wants to use his time on campus to scrutinize Yale’s academic offerings in STEM, adding that Yale’s social scene will also be a factor in his decision. Sharma is also considering the California Institute of Technology and Brown, he said.
Next year, the Admissions Office will be hosting two separate iterations of Bulldog Days due to potential overcrowding at events and limited hosting options. With the expansion of Yale College, the class of 2021 will be 15 percent larger than the class of 2020.