Meet and greet

Wheaton’s in-person delivery of more than 75 acceptance packets to admitted students throughout New England has received attention by the Associated Press, NPR, The Boston Globe and other news outlets, as well as on social media.

President Dennis Hanno, Vice President of Enrollment and Dean of Admission and Student Aid Grant Gosselin, the Wheaton Lyon and others from the college headed out Tuesday afternoon, March 15 to greet potential members of the Wheaton Class of 2020 with their acceptance letters, T-shirts, blue and white balloons and signs reading “Yes!.” All admission decisions were distributed electronically at 9 p.m. that evening.

AP reporter Collin Binkley rode along with one of the groups as they visited a few accepted students, including Maya Wolf of Franklin, Mass., who was clearly excited and overwhelmed by the special delivery.

The AP article, which was published in newspapers throughout the country, including The Washington Post and New York Post, mentioned a few other schools that have made an effort to personalize the admission process.

Globe reporter Steve Annear also wrote about the visits, in an article published on the front page of the Metro section on Wednesday, March 16. He interviewed admitted student Paige Donahue of East Bridgewater, Mass., who said she was “stoked” to hear of her acceptance to Wheaton and called the personal delivery “heartwarming.”

The new initiative also got a mention on the news site and on the Web version of TeenVOGUE magazine and sparked a conversation on Boston radio station Mix 104.1 FM, on the Karson and Kennedy morning show. Locally, the story was picked up by the The Sun Chronicle

On Wednesday, March 23, President Hanno was interviewed by host Audie Cornish on NPR’s All Things Considered. Cornish asked the president whether all the “pomp and circumstance” was necessary.

President Hanno responded: “For me, it really has that dual purpose of sending the prospective student a signal about the uniqueness and the personal nature of this place, but then also including all of our community in the process. And so, for me, you know, the pomp and circumstance, it was—it was fun. And I think, even if a student doesn’t come here, they’ll consider it as fun and a memorable experience.”

In April, CBS This Morning included a mention of Wheaton’s unique deliveries in a piece about how the college admission process has changed in recent years.

These visits are just Wheaton’s latest effort to show admitted students and others the kind of personalized relationships they can expect at the college. Last spring, a busload of people from the Wheaton community surprised one student who had been accepted for Early Decision by delivering her letter at her high school in Wakefield, Mass. The student’s emotional reaction was captured on video.