Despite blazing temperatures, 20 high school counselors managed to complete their annual college tour by bicycle, stopping at Valparaiso University on July 5 and 6.
After biking from Chicago to Wisconsin, Michigan, and finally Indiana, the Tour D’Admission made its final stop at Valpo. Arriving on the evening of July 5, the counselors found dinner in the Valparaiso community and stayed the night in a campus residence hall. The group took a campus tour the next day and later finished the last leg of its journey to Chicago.
A majority of the counselors had never been to Valpo before, but between those familiar and those brand new to the school, the group agreed that Valpo had been saved as the best for last.
“Campus was great. I thought it was really neat,” said Sam Harrison, one of the counselors on the tour. “I think I can speak for most of us by saying we had the best tour of any college on the trip.”
Even those that had been to campus before were more than satisfied with what they saw.
“I’ve known about Valpo longer than some of the others in the group, and I’ve always thought of it as a mid-size university with the advantages of a small college,” said Bruce Hunter, the trip’s co-leader. “The campus tour was wonderful, one of the best I have ever been on.”
As most of the counselors work on the east coast, a small school in the Midwest, like Valpo, needs something to stand out and to help prospective students put it on their list of choices.
“A lot of the students I work with don’t think about going to school in the middle of the country. This trip has opened our eyes to the schools we don’t know too much about,” Harrison said. “All kids need is someone to be there telling them that a school is great. It seems like everyone here works hard and studies hard”¦ it seems like a special place.”
Above anything else, the counselors believed that the engineering school would set Valpo apart from the pack when it came to a student’s list of potential college choices. They enjoyed seeing the James S. Markiewicz Solar Energy Research Facility and other amenities that engineering students at Valpo get to work with during their studies.
“For an engineering kid looking outside of the box, that’s not interested in attending a tech school, I’ll tell them about Valpo,” said Rich Johnson, another counselor on the trip. “The engineering school is working with some real-world things, stuff people come in contact with every day, and you don’t see that too often. I think the program here has been under the radar. It’s moving to the top of my list now.”
The counselors were given one last information session about the University before packing up and hitting the road. They chimed in about the range of opportunities available to students, from music performance to study abroad, and left the campus full of facts to take to students back home. With that, they gathered their things, hopped on their bikes, and ended their whirlwind college tour as they set out toward Chicago.
About Valparaiso University
Valparaiso University is a comprehensive independent Lutheran university with more than 4,000 students on its campus located in Northwest Indiana, an hour from Chicago. Valpo is a community of purpose-driven, service-minded and ethical individuals who embrace the pursuit of truth with freedom, humility and compassion. Valpo has been identified as one of the top master’s-level institutions in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report magazine for the past 22 years. Valparaiso University offers 110 undergraduate academic programs through the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Engineering and Nursing. Valpo also has a distinguished honors college, a School of Law and more than 40 degree and certificate programs in its Graduate School and Continuing Education Division. Valpo has been recognized for its commitment to outstanding teaching, preparing thoughtful leaders with strong cross-cultural skills and global awareness, and dedication to serving others.