By NICOLE POTTINGER – STAFF WRITER
On any given day you may find a group of perspective students walking around campus in one several tours given during in the week. The Centre Admissions Office relies heavily on the help of students to recruit visitors to the college.
There is a good chance each person on this campus was in contact at some point with a member of Centre Ambassadors, formerly known as Colonel Corps, through overnight visits, tours, or other given opportunities.
These students are dedicated to making sure every prospective student receives the best of what Centre has to offer, which is why over the last few years, subtle changes were made to the program.
Alice Kaplan, the new Welcome Center Coordinator, said that changing the name from Colonel Corps to Centre Ambassadors “… better encompasses what it’s about.”
Replacing the world “Corps” with “Ambassadors” gives members a more accurate title—these students represent Centre College itself. Naturally the students and Admissions Office alike wished to be as thorough and helpful as they could.
Centre College reached out to a consultant specializing in college recruitment. The consultant then visited campus and took note of the old Colonel Corp’s strengths. This summer, he returned to provide suggestions on how to alter the program for the better.
Between the two visits, Centre’s Admissions office brainstormed new methods themselves, via potential students and the members of Colonel Corps. Visit Coordinator Jamie Prewitt believes that, “[Centre’s] thoughts were reinforced by [the consultant’s] idea.”
The new name is not the only change made to the program however. Most notably, the tour is now longer and shows off parts of Centre’s campus the old tour never touched.
Kaplan said that through these new tours, they are better able to “showcase more of our campus.”
The tour visits not only North Side dorms like in previous tours, but now Pearl Hall as well. This way, the College is able to show potential students where they start, and the opportunities they could have when they become upper-classmen.
The new tour is more specific to the needs of prospective students. Nearly 40 percent of students currently attending Centre College are athletes. With that number in mind, the tour now includes the football and baseball fields, as well as the Bowman Gym.
Junior Hunt VanderToll joined Colonel Corps as a first-year. He believes that Centre Ambassadors will send a positive message to prospective students.
Further, he belives that Ambassadors will show that the attention they receive while in the hands of a Centre Ambassador is considered very personal and is representative of how their education at Centre will be.
The tours give the Ambassadors “chances for us to highlight our own experiences,” which adds tremendously to the personal connections made between an Ambassador and a prospective student.
“The more I give tours, the more I seem to fall in love with Centre,” VanderToll said.
In addition to giving tours, Centre Ambassadors offer lunch hosts for prospective students and their families, as well as overnight visits. Also, Ambassadors are now able to provide transportation services, allowing an Ambassador to drive to a local airport to pick up or drop off a perspective student.
Centre tries to give prospective students the opportunity to get a taste of the community the students themselves could one day be a part of.
“We couldn’t thrive without their help,” Prewitt said. “We want the prospective students to have a good first impression from the minute you meet them.”
Even the members of Centre Ambassadors are extremely proud of the work they do. Regarding his experience, VanderToll said, “I have loved it. A highlight is seeing students from tours the next year on campus.”
“It really is an important role on campus,” Kaplan said.
The new changes to the program exhibit not only a strong desire to suit the needs of prospective students, but also to show to the outside world that Centre students take pride in where they go to school and are eager to show it off to anyone who will listen.