Category Archives: Travel

5 Things to Look Forward to in the Coming Months (From the Whitman College Office of Admission)


Hello all, and welcome once again to the Whitman Admission Blog! It’s been a crazy hectic couple of weeks here in the office, and not just because of the gradual increase in students visiting campus. Fall, as I’ve talked about before, is in full swing at this point, and that means some exciting things happening (apart from just the crazy weather we’ve been having). With that in mind, I wanted to take some time share some of the things I’m most excited about, and that you might find fun and interesting as well. Below is a list of 5 things you can look forward to coming from the Whitman College Office of Admission, and Whitman College in general, in the coming days, weeks, and months!

5) Overnight Visits!

If you’re a prospective college student, chances are you’ve already been exposed to the idea of overnight visits, and might already know what they entail. For those of you who don’t, however, an overnight visit is something we offer to seniors who want to get a bit more of a taste of campus life, and really dig into the culture of the college by staying with a student host for night. It’s an incredibly cool process, is often the deciding factor for students making their college decisions, and, now that the school year is in full swing, we are able to offer them after the long summer break! Want to sign up for an overnight? Simply go to the Schedule a Visit section of our website and follow the steps outlined there!

4) Lunch Hosting!

Much like with Overnight Visits, which are put on hold over the summer while our students are away, Lunch With Current Students gives you the opportunity to meet and talk with current Whitman students in order to get a feel for Whitman’s campus community. Going to be on campus for a tour or an interview? Sign up to talk with current Whitties (and get a taste of our excellent dining hall food) while you’re at it!

3) Fall Visitors’ Day!


Okay, so this one is still a ways off (November 12th to be precise), but it’s still really exciting to think about. For those of you who haven’t had a chance to visit campus yet, or if you’ve already been but want to come join in on the festivities, Fall Visitor’s Day is an excellent opportunity to tour the campus, meet with staff and faculty, and even sit in on panels about academics, sports, and other programs Whitman has to offer. Want to know more? Come check out our Fall Visitor’s Day webpage, and check out the full list of activities!

2) Intern Blogs!

If you actively follow this blog, or if you just happen to pop in and check for updates from time to time, you may have noticed something: updates often come sporadically (although I have been trying to create a more regular schedule), what with how busy we Admission Officers often are throughout the year. In order to help alleviate the problem of sometimes sparse content, we have enlisted the help of our Senior Admission Interns, who will be posting on a weekly basis from here on out. This week marks the first week our new interns will be posting, and I myself am super excited to announce that their blogs will soon be up and running! Image

(Above is a photo I snagged of two of our interns hard at work on their first posts). Be on the lookout for those blogs as they come out! They’ll be posting a lot of good content, which is nice, since Whitman’s Admission Officers (myself included) will soon be…1) On the Road!

This is in many ways the biggest part of the Fall for us as Admission Officers. I talked a bit about this a while back, but at that point in time it was largely conceptual – we were still in the planning phases, the early steps, the thought of travel only just beginning to surface from the long summer months of sleep. Now, however, travel season is upon us. If they haven’t hit your town, high school, or area already, Whitman College Admission Officers will soon be making visits, holding interviews, and attending college fairs, all right in your back yard! To find out who will be in your area, and where we will be visiting, check out our Whitman on the Road page for more information!

That’s all for today. Look out for both our Senior Admission Intern blogs, as well as another post later this week as a followup to a personal favorite series of posts from last year! Until then, may Fall be ever in your favor.


Coming Soon, to a High School/College Fair Near You

While the last couple entries on this blog have focused a bit more on the downtime in the Admission cycle, those few quiet months of repose, rest, and preparation for the new year, this post is going to focus on something different. This post is going to focus, quite specifically, on gearing up for the start of the new school year.

While it’s true that the office is still fairly quiet – there are of course plenty of visitors coming through on a daily basis, experiencing the campus, taking tours, sitting in on information sessions, and engaging in interviews with our admission staff – the real weight of the admission season is starting to poke its head up over the horizon. The excitement and activity of the new year is starting to dawn, and with it comes a stirring of new activity, both on the student end of things and on our side of the desk as well. While students start realizing their summer is slowly coming to a close (if you’re a student and reading this, keep making the most of it while it lasts!), Admission Officers are beginning to look forward to one of the busiest, and ostensibly most exciting parts of our year.

Travel Season!

From the middle of September to about the middle of November, Admission Officers both in our office and all over the country are in constant motion, planning trips to conferences, to college fairs, to high schools, getting in contact with high school counselors, with eager and excited students, flying all across the country, and in some instances across the globe.  The life of an Admission Officer is an exciting one, and not just because we get to work with bright and interesting students. We get to see all parts of the country, have the opportunity to experience a range of cultures, and ultimately, get to meet people from all sorts of walks of life, all while representing our respective colleges, and more importantly, the value of higher education.

So what does this mean on the student end of things? Put simply, it means that fairly shortly, there’s a pretty good chance an Admission Officer will be traveling to an area near you, giving you the opportunity to make contact with a college representative. This could be in the form of a high school visit, it could be in the form of touching base with an Officer at a college fair, or it could be at one of the many off campus interviews we offer to students in our respective areas. Most importantly of all, this means that you get to have your questions and your concerns answered, and that you have the opportunity to get a taste for a college without ever stepping foot on the campus. For many students this is their first contact with a college. For others, it’s a continuing conversation, another step on the road to going to college.

For us, the Admission Officers of the world, it’s an opportunity to get in touch with hundreds of new students, and hopefully to influence their lives for the better.

So, as September starts shaking the sleep off from its annual eleven month nap, and as you begin brushing the cobwebs off of your school supplies, pulling them out from that dark and dusty corner they’ve been relegated to since the start of the summer, be on the lookout for a college representative near you! Remember to check out the admission section of our website at for updates on who will be in your area visiting high schools and conducting college interviews. And in the meantime, just know that we’re looking forward to seeing you all soon.


Travel Season Meets Fall in Walla Walla

I wrote a few weeks ago that travel season had begun, and now it is surely upon us! We at the Office of Admission have now reached a time of year where we’re lucky if half of the officers are in the office. Though it’s a time of much transition for us, it’s also extremely exciting. Katherine Buckley, Tony Cabasco and I recently returned from an exhilarating week in Seattle where we visited 18 high schools and met hundreds of students. I felt like I was on a roll; we moved from parking lot to college office, speaking about Whitman to both individual students but also to groups as large as sixty. The excitement coming from the prospective students we speak with is the contagious part–after all, we love travel season because it means we get to meet many of you!

So, what to do with these interspersed weeks (or in many cases, days) at home? They become much more than time to catch up on emails and phone calls in the office; the purpose they serve goes further than to simply “reboot.” Fall at Whitman is full of campus vigor, both a confirmation of all that we have shared on the road as well as the source of a whole new group of activities and stories that we will put in our pockets for when we head out on the road again. Though I missed the Instant Play Festival, I can’t wait to attend a talk by Isabel Wilkerson, the author of this year’s summer read The Warmth of Other Suns. I smile when I read about President George Bridges’ birthday wishes to first-year Maya Volk (check out the full story by clicking on this link: ). While I’ve been gone, flag football games have started in full force and provide some excellent entertainment. These are just a few of the stories that will find their way into the next high schools I visit.

Imagery From Our Travels, Part I

As we approach a time of year when many of us are out of the office, traveling from college fair to high school visit, we often have the opportunity to share stories from our adventures only after we return home to Walla Walla. But this travel season, through this blog, we’re able to share images and tales from our travels not only with each other but with all of you!

For this first installment of visuals from of our time on the road, Joshua Ian Smith, Associate Director of Admission, has sent us a few pictures from his time in Asia. Take a look at the wildly beautiful passion flower, a produce stall in Bangaluru, and the skyscrapers in Hong Kong.

On travel, deadlines, and reubens

Growing up I used to go to this place named “Kelly’s” for lunch with my family. As you may imagine, at place named “Kelly’s” you couldn’t go wrong with the Reuben sandwich, well as long as you had a BIG appetite. This heaping ovular plate of corn beef, sauerkraut, Russian dressing, bubbling Swiss cheese and a couple well hidden slices of rye bread one needed to attack with a fork and steak knife was enough to intimidate even the biggest of appetites. Believe it or not, I see travel season as the California regional admission counselor for Whitman similarly. California is a large state! When I hit the road 53 days ago the flights, miles, visits and interviews were daunting, just like that steaming Irish culinary creation of my youth. My approach now is like my approach then, one bite at a time. Before I knew it, given some time and my fair share of iced teas the plate only had a few more bites, like my travel schedule today. The black travel bag and I only have 10 more days out on the road and I can’t help but feel satisfied by the accomplishment.

The afternoons after a visit to Kelly’s were understandably spent digesting, it really was gigantic sandwich! That is what I am looking forward to doing over the next few weeks with all the information I have taken in for the last two months. There are interviews to keep typing up, students to stay in contact with, profiles to organize, and lists to keep. It will be nice to be home, but to also move onto the next step, reading the applications. I have met so many interesting and promising students since September, it will be exciting to see how they present themselves. Applications will be coming soon too, the Early Decision I deadline at Whitman is November 15th. This is like sitting down to dinner in the evening after one of those Kelly’s Reubens, digestion beforehand is key. I will definitely be using early November to do just that, digest.

You all may be feeling like you are working your way through a Kelly’s Reuben yourself. There is the rigor and vigor of senior year, people like me keep showing up at your high school, you want to make a good impression on colleges, make good decisions on where to apply, and actually enjoy your senior year. The best advice I can offer is what has helped me, “one bite at a time.” Look at the applications bit by bit, don’t try to do all of them completely all at once. Otherwise you have a recipe for a hot mess that is not even worth trying to salvage as leftovers. You too will see a clearing in the ambitious plate you have before you. Don’t be stubborn like I was growing up, trying to take on a Kelly’s Reuben alone. Ask for help. Your friends and family are great resources for looking at essays and practicing interview questions. You also have some willing back-up in your college and admission counselors. We love this stuff and have an insatiable appetite. Slainte!

We’re on the Road!

It’s travel season for us in the admission office, which means that we might be visiting your high school! For some of you, this will be your first interaction with our staff and your first opportunity to ask questions.  We hope you will make the most of this time and have prepared some tips to help facilitate a meaningful discussion.

Step One: Are you visiting my town?

Check our website to see if we travel to your town.  This travel schedule is updated throughout the fall, so if your hometown is not listed now, that may change in the future. Check back throughout the fall for changes.

Step Two: Are you visiting my school?

• If you have been in contact with our office prior to our visit, we will mail you a visit schedule for your state. If you have not been in contact with us, please be sure to check with your college or career center to see when Whitman might be visiting. Your counselor should have a list of colleges that will be making trips to your school and the times and days representatives will be on campus.

Step Three: How do I prepare for your visit?

• Do some research on our website so that you know what follow up questions you have about the application process, majors, campus life, or Whitman, in general.
• Many schools require students to officially sign up to attend college representative presentation visits. If your school does operate under that policy, make sure that you sign up ahead of time so that we know to expect you.
• Some of you will be missing class in order to attend our presentations. If you need to be excused, be sure to attain permission from your teacher beforehand.

Step Four: What should I expect from your visit?

• Visit presentations vary by college, but Whitman’s presentation includes general information about the college, as well as a question and answer session at the end. During a visit, you will also be able to sign up to receive further information from Whitman College relating to specific areas of interest.

Step Five: What do I do after you visit?

• If you are a senior, think about interviewing. Whitman offers a number of interviews on the road if you cannot make it to campus
• If you liked what you heard in the presentation and want to learn more, a great next step is to visit campus . Many students find that seeing the place in person helps them to better picture themselves as Whitman students.

While this step-by-step list is by no means exhaustive, I hope that this outline of what to expect from college visits is helpful to you as you begin to learn more about Whitman College.

Whitman on the Road

Well, fine prospective students, we’re on the road again this summer!

Next week, Tony Cabasco, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, will be traveling throughout California with the Pacific Northwest Colleges Consortium.  You can hear about Lewis and Clark College, University of Puget Sound, Reed College, Whitman College, and Willamette University all in one place! These events are an opportunity for you to hear individual college presentations and ask questions of the representatives.

We will also have a representative at the Colleges That Change Lives Events throughout the country.  Watch out for Joshua Smith and Cate van Oppen at the Bellevue, WA event on Saturday, July 31.  Anne Thatcher will be at the Portland, OR event, also on Saturday, July 31.

You can see our full travel schedule on the Whitman Admission site.  We look forward to seeing you at an upcoming event!