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November 2, 2011
By John Trent
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Spring semester events:
In the world of recruiting prospective college students, words are said and promises made, but often it takes a special event to help bring the words into a real-life focus, and to turn promises of a quality education into meaningful action.
For University of Nevada, Reno junior Sam Dugan, such a moment occurred during one of the many "Nevada Bound" recruiting events held on the University campus.
Dugan, as a high school senior at Reno's Galena High School in 2009, was also part of a "Best and Brightest" recruiting event. "Nevada Bound" is a day-long event for high school junior and seniors who tour the campus and residence halls, eat on campus, and participate in informal discussions with admissions, financial aid, academic representatives and current students.
"Even living in Reno, you don't really realize what the University has to offer," Dugan said. "With an event like Nevada Bound, you visit campus, and you're on your own, without your parents, to learn about the University. You learn that it's not a Podunk school, that it's a leader in many of the fields that are up here. The tours you have of the campus are kind of a slap in the face - in a good way - to let you know that, yeah, this is an amazing University and you should consider making it your University."
Dugan received the "Nevada Bound" message loud and clear.
He's now majoring in biochemistry and physics, with plans to graduate from the University and then attend the University of Nevada School of Medicine. One day, Dugan hopes, he will be an orthopedic surgeon.
His experience at the University, and in shadowing medical school students, has shown Dugan that the campus is a special place, just as promised during his recruitment.
"There really is a feeling of community ... it really is like a family," he said.
According to Adam Stoltz, associate director of admissions at the University, events such as "Nevada Bound" are at all-time levels for participation and success. As of late October 2011, more than 100 students more had attended a Nevada Bound event as compared to last year at this time, Stoltz said.
Events such as "Nevada Bound" help to not only introduce potential students, they help the University improve the quality of its student body, Stoltz said.
Nowhere is this more apparent than with students like Dugan, whose mother is an administrative faculty member.
Stoltz said upcoming "Nevada Bounds" are hoping to welcome the offspring of the University's faculty and staff, as well as "anyone that faculty and staff might know," he said. "We've found that our faculty and staff are some of our best recruiters, and their family members and friends are some of our best students."
In years past, a special invitation was sent to faculty members to encourage family members to attend Nevada Bound. Due to the great amount of interest and growth in participation this year, however, all Nevada Bound events are now open to the family and friends of faculty members.
Nevada Bound dates for the remainder of the semester are: Nov. 18 and Dec. 2. The first spring Nevada Bound will be held Feb. 17, followed by three events in March, three in April and one in in June.
In addition Nevada Bound events, personal visits can also be scheduled through the Office for Prospective Students.
For Dugan, it has been a mix of personal interaction with a quality faculty, a vibrant campus life, as well some of the best facilities in the West, which have made all of the difference during his time at the University.
"The University is kind of a communal campus," he said. "Lots of schools nowadays seem too spread out. The University has that old, classic style, with all of the buildings close together. That's one of the things I really loved.
"And then you think about all of the new buildings ... some of the growth going on is really exciting. The new library (Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center), the new Pennington (Health Sciences) Building, the new Center for Molecular Medicine, the new Davidson Math and Science Building, all of these new buildings and technologies are really amazing."
The rest of Dugan's family has gotten the message, as well. His brother is also a University student, and his sister is a recent University graduate.
"There's a lot of Nevada pride going around my house," Dugan said. "We don't buy red shirts anymore."
The initial words said, the initial promises made at Nevada Bound, have been realized, Dugan said.
"You get the best of a lot of worlds at the University," Dugan said. "That's what I really love about it. You get Tahoe, the mountains, you get a great community on our campus, but you don't feel like you're losing anything academically. The University does a real good job of it."
John Trent is senior editor for news and features in the Office of Integrated Marketing