Nearly 400 students and 600 parents came to Yale on Saturday for the inaugural Bulldog Saturday event for admitted students.

Bulldog Saturday is a one-day version of Bulldog Days, the University’s three-day recruitment program designed to showcase Yale to admitted students and their parents. The event was created to accommodate the hundreds of additional students admitted to the class of 2021, given the opening of two new residential colleges in the fall.

“Bulldog Saturday exceeded our expectations in terms of popularity and programming,” Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Jeremiah Quinlan said. “We were thrilled to welcome so many people to New Haven for a full day of classes, events and panels.”

Quinlan added that although the office will only be doing its annual review of recruitment programming in the late spring, early feedback on the event has been very positive.

“We hope to keep the momentum moving as we head into our larger Bulldog Days events next week,” he said.

The single-day event mirrored the full Bulldog Days program and featured academic panels, discussions with campus resource centers, master classes with Yale professors, residential college life panels and special events produced by Yale student organizations.

Amy DelaBruere, an admitted student from Vermont, said that although she went to a number of similar programs at other schools, Bulldog Saturday “blew those out of the water.”

DelaBruere said one of her favorite parts about the day was the opportunity to connect with many people. For example, she had the chance to meet the admissions officer who had reviewed her file, she said.

“When I found her that morning, she immediately gave me a hug and it was so interesting that she already knew quite a bit about my personality just from reading through my application and fighting to get me a spot in the Yale class of 2021,” DelaBruere said.

DelaBruere added that she officially committed the following day and “couldn’t be more excited” to attend Yale, a decision she attributed to her Bulldog Saturday experience.

“Yale found a way to make [Bulldog Saturday] very personal, incredibly fun and made sure that everything went smoothly despite how many people attended,” DelaBruere said. “It was such an amazing experience, and although I wasn’t entirely sure where I wanted to attend college at the beginning of the day, by the end, I was sure that Yale was the right place for me.”

Cassandra Hsiao, an admitted student from California who was accepted to all eight Ivy League colleges, said she found Bulldog Saturday to be an informative experience of life at Yale. Hsiao said her hosts genuinely cared about her experience as a prefrosh, adding that the students she met were kind and considerate.

Students from across the world came to Yale for Bulldog Saturday. According to Director of Outreach and Communications Mark Dunn ’07, the geographic diversity of the admitted students in attendance at Bulldog Saturday was a surprise to the office.

“We were … pleasantly surprised that only about half of the registrants are from the New England or Mid-Atlantic states,” Dunn said. “Even though the program is only for one day and does not include on-campus hosting, we have registrants from every region of the country and a few international registrants as well.”

More than 20 student groups organized events for prefrosh between 6:30 and 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, which were listed in the Bulldog Saturday program booklet. These events ranged from “Cellos and Cheesecake with Low Strung” to a “Computer Science Meet & Greet Pizza” to “Politics with the Yale Politic.”

Director of Recruitment Hannah Mendlowitz ’12 said the Admissions office was particularly grateful for the faculty members and students who, in addition to their involvement in Bulldog Days programming, took time out of their Saturday to help the Admissions Office with the program.

“Having two large yield programs in the month of April certainly requires the enthusiasm of our students, staff and faculty to give our visitors the best experience possible, and I’m very pleased with how welcoming and hospitable all members of the Yale community were for the first-ever Bulldog Saturday,” she said.

Bulldog Days will take place from April 24 to April 26.