This week we welcome nearly 2,000 guests to campus – about 1,200 high school seniors admitted to the Class of 2018 and 800 parents and other family members – for Bulldog Days. They are traveling to Yale from 49 states and 21 countries, and we are rolling out the red carpet.
In just a couple of days, we try to provide a taste of what life at Yale is like for an undergraduate. Admitted students can sample from hundreds of courses; they can learn about our campus sustainability programs; they can hear from students involved in more than 300 extracurricular organizations. There are hundreds of events, all intended to engage those who we hope will come live and study here for the next four years, culminating with a New Haven Pizza Party featuring more than 300 pizzas from eight local pizzerias! (We’ll save the debate about who makes the best pizza in New Haven for a different Monday message – I do have a favorite!)
Pulling off this kind of event requires remarkable collaboration across Yale offices and departments such as Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid, Yale College Dean’s Office, residential college masters and deans, chaplains, Conference Services and Events, Dining Services, Yale Security, Yale Police, Yale Athletics, New Haven and State Affairs, and others. Most important, our students serve as hosts, so prospective students can learn first-hand about a Yale College education.
And feeding, housing, supporting, teaching, and otherwise caring for those who accept our invitation to be part of Yale requires an extended collaboration. I remain impressed by the dedication of staff and faculty to our undergrads. As I visited departments around campus during inauguration week and in the months since, it is clear to me that staff members throughout the campus, regardless of their connection to Yale College, embrace and take pride in our teaching and learning mission. We are unified in our commitment to our students.
Many of you will encounter some of our Bulldog Days visitors this week. I know you will join me in welcoming them, helping them with directions, responding to their questions, and showing them why we think Yale is the best place in the world to be an undergraduate. And we’ll look forward to seeing them again in the fall when they arrive as the Class of 2018.