Troy University came alive Thursday welcoming prospective students to campus for the Worldwide Open House, the first such open house event held in-person since the onset of the COVID pandemic.
Held on all four Alabama campuses and virtually, the event extended the application fee waiver deadline to Oct. 3.
After being greeted with their name in the rotating marquee in the Admissions office, high school seniors and their families from Alabama, Georgia and Florida gathered for a brief presentation before splitting off for tours with Trojan Ambassadors of the Troy Campus, including the newly-constructed, student-only recreation center, the dining hall, Trojan Center, academic buildings, dorms and more.
Tairrque Baker, a junior interdisciplinary studies major, Trojan Ambassador and IMPACT leader, said it was the tour that sold him on TROY when he visited as a high school student on Worldwide Open House day, and it’s his goal now to leave that same impact on potential students.
“Everyone was really friendly and goal-oriented, and being able to see the campus and everyone walking around felt very at home,” he said. “I want to be able to show off what made me come here. As an orientation leader, being able to welcome new students and have them say ‘I’m here because of your tour,’ that has to be my favorite feeling by far.
“I met a couple of people Thursday that were interested in Army ROTC and met another guy that was really worried about the scholarship process, so I explained my process and how it went and I feel like he left much more at ease. I’ll be in touch with him for sure.”
After tours concluded, Emily Kruse, Coordinator of Campus Experiences, lead an informational presentation detailing the application process and tuition, meal plan and housing costs as well as the many different scholarship opportunities and deadlines. The session was capped with a trivia game and prizes, giftbags and snacks.
Whitney Newman, a 2016 TROY graduate, and her daughter Emily Humphries visited from Tallassee. Humphries is heavily involved in the band at her high school—playing the trumpet while also performing in the color guard—and wants to join the Sound of the South and major in nursing once she gets to campus.
Newman said her daughter has had TROY on her mind for a long time.
“She’s been looking at TROY for a while. She’s been here for several Honors Band competitions and things along that line, so it’s always been her number one pick,” she said.
Humphries said her favorite part of the day was seeing the inside of the different dormitories and touring the library. When asked what piece of advice she’d give to someone considering applying to TROY, she said simply, “Go for it.”
Tiffani Stephens Schmidt, Director of Enrollment Services, agreed with her sentiment.
“Just apply. The whole reason to apply is to open the doors for opportunities,” she said. “You have to apply and be accepted before you know what scholarships we can offer you, before you know what dorm we can offer you. In order for more opportunities to be available to you at TROY, you’ve got to step out and submit that application.”
Between the four Alabama locations, more than 140 families set foot on campus and even more attended the virtual event. Schmidt said while the admissions staff is always happy to have students experience the campus in person, they’re just happy to have so many people taking that first step and being interested in the many things TROY has to offer.
“These students are wanting to get back and visit with us in person, and that’s a really great feeling, but really we just want you to have some kind of experience,” she said, “whether it’s in-person or online. Each experience has different resources and videos that are focused on your needs, and we want those to be utilized as much as possible. The whole day was just so encouraging since we weren’t able to have an in-person event last year.”
While being back on campus was a welcome reprieve for many, Heike Ly, Director of Enrollment for TROY Phenix City, said many of their adult students enjoyed the convenience of experiencing Open House online.
“Prospective students enjoyed the convenience of being able to attend the virtual open house or attend in-person,” she said. “Those who chose to attend in-person were able to meet with faculty and admission staff learn more about TROY and the opportunities we offer. It was great to see so many excited students take the first step to finishing their educational goal.”
Jessica Cocking, Admissions Counselor/Recruiter for TROY Montgomery, and Connor Couch, Director of Enrollment for TROY Dothan, both said their respective celebrations were well-received and well-attended.
“Thursday was a great day at the Montgomery Campus! We had around 20 people stop by the admissions office for the Open House, and we gave a gift bag to each student who submitted an application. Our Title III Grant Coordinators provided popcorn for the students who stopped by that afternoon, and all in all we had a great day,” Cocking said.
Couch added, “At the Dothan Campus, we were able to spend time with 27 visitors to our Worldwide Open House event. We were fortunate to have broad and enthusiastic participation from academic and administrative departments, and I’m proud to say it was a very collaborative event.”
Because of the challenges of the last year, TROY is extending the virtual Open House and waiving application fees until Oct. 3. Those who participate in the virtual event will receive the promo code at the end of their session.
Options for the virtual event include: Troy Campus for students interested in attending in-person in Troy, Ala.; non-traditional for online students and students from other TROY campuses; and international for international students who are interested in attending Troy University.