Editor's note: This article by Ken Mammarella, AS ’80, on a recent vist to the University of Delaware campus by six college counselors was published in the Crossroads section of the Wilmington NewsJournal on Aug. 13, 2009. It is reprinted here with permission.
4:58 p.m., Aug. 13, 2009----A 12-day, 400-mile tour last month gave six college counselors an up-close look of colleges in Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Because they did it on bicycles.
Kirk Blackard, a counselor at Christ School in Arden, S.C., said that what he would remember most is not "facts you can learn from the Web site," but personal stories. Crossroads asked him what he took away from his time at the University of Delaware. His response:
"We were blown away that Avi, an admissions officer, along with a student ambassador would join us on their own bikes. While I caution my students not to judge a school solely on the basis of the quality of the tour and guides, our group of bicycling counselors left the University of Delaware most impressed with the caliber of students the school attracts -- specifically our two guides' ability to articulate the school's mission and their ability to capture the spirit of the place even when school is not in session. The beauty of the campus facilities were clearly apparent as well. I left thinking the University of Delaware is a school my students need to know more about. I loved the entire tour experience and greatly appreciated the University of Delware Admissions Office literally going the extra mile for us."
The New York Times said that the six counselors work "at private schools, or public schools in upscale communities."
Crossroads connected with Avi Amon, a 2008 graduate who works in the admissions office, and he said that the student ambassador was Erica Vacaro. He said that they spent two hours on bikes, going from the south to north campuses and covering the full width of the main campus -- far more than can be reached on a traditional pedestrian tour.
"Really wonderful," he said of the chance to react with and learn from the counselors. And of course he was ready to ride: He uses a well-seasoned Trek 1000 bicycle to commute to his job.
Article by Ken Mammarella