A few weeks ago, about 1,300 prospective freshmen, affectionately referred to as “ProFros,” flocked to the Farm for Stanford’s Admissions Weekend. The freshman were some of the 2,427 admitted to Stanford from a pool of 34,200 this year, Stanford’s largest admit applicant pool in history. At 7.1%, their admission rate was also the lowest in history.
After a welcome ceremony at Memorial Auditorium and a spirited reception from the Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band, the ProFros were divvied up by house in Frost Amphitheatre and sent off with their assigned HoHos (housing hosts) to stay for a few nights in various dorms.
This year, Stanford was the last of the nation’s top universities to host its Admit Weekend. Indeed, many Stanford ProFros came to Stanford having just attended similar events at institutions such as Harvard, Princeton, and Yale. But as Dean of Admission Richard Shaw explained in a pre-Admit Weekend pump-up meeting, “Them that gets ‘em last…gets ‘em!”
Nearly half of the students attending Admit Weekend were uncommitted when they arrived on campus. But Shaw’s predictions appeared to have been correct — an enthusiastic vibe was visible from many of the ProFros in attendance, and many chose Stanford specifically because of their Admit Weekend experiences.
“It didn’t take long for a strong sense of familiarity to develop,” Michael Hang ’15 explained. “Everyone in the dorm, whether they were participating in Admit Weekend or not, was approachable and welcoming. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of Stanford?”
“The reason why I committed is because of the people I met at Stanford,” Catherine Tadina ’15 agreed. “I feel like I have truly met my family here.”
The students had a schedule packed with some of the best academic and social aspects of campus to help push them in the right direction, including 22 lectures, various sporting events, and performances.
Head HoHos of each house ran dorm programming each night, leading their ProFros through assorted ice-breakers, A Capella performances, and question-and-answer panels.
While most dorm programming included approved activities such as barbeques or games of capture the flag, rumor has it some ProFros may have participated in more questionable Stanford traditions such as indoor slip-n-slides or steam tunneling.
Whatever the legitimacy of the events, they proved successful in committing a new generation of happy Stanford students.
“Okada made me feel like I was part of the family,” Ellen Tsay ’15 recalled. “I can’t think of any better welcome to Stanford.”
Throughout the week, several ProFros were spotted trying to persuade those who hadn’t yet committed to a university to choose Stanford. And still more admitted they were passing up good offers from Harvard or MIT to join the Stanford Class of 2015.
The ProFros also seem likely to keep their enthusiasm strong over the long summer dividing the high school and college years.
“We ProFros are still talking to each other every day even though we live on opposite sides of the country,” says Ivy Nguyen ’15. “I feel like the friends I made just over the weekend will be with me for a long time!”
Overall, the University seems to have had a very successful Admit Weekend. And HoHos, as busy as they were, appear to have enjoyed themselves as well. Kike Garcia ’14 says, “The weekend was as much for us as it was for them. It’s refreshing to see young faces bursting with excitement and energy.”