Hello! For many high school juniors and seniors, spring break often can mean campus visits and this year was no exception for our daughter, a high school junior. We made two campus visits, each university being very different from the other. However, both were easy driving distances from our town, so off we went.
Stop #1 was Notre Dame, a private university with a very good reputation. It is a lovely campus and appears to have top-notch facilities; everything looked clean and very well-maintained (this wasn't exactly true of some of the private colleges we visited last summer out east). It's very hard to get in, though. Our daughter may apply anyway - doesn't hurt to try.
A few scenes from the campus follow:
An outdoor grotto; very serene setting for prayer.
The Golden Dome, which is the administration building for the university. The admissions official who gave a talk joked that they once had a visitor who asked if that was a replica of the Statue of Liberty on top of the dome - it's not; it's Mary.
The Golden Dome was fabulous inside - the ceiling of the dome is painted with a celestial scene that I had to crane my head up to view, and there were very detailed murals on the walls near the room where the admissions official spoke. As I'd said earlier, a very well-maintained place.
On Wednesday we drove our daughter to Michigan State University so that she could participate in the "Day At State" overnight stay. For this program, the high school visitor is paired with a current student with similar academic interests to see what a typical day at MSU may entail.
In the case of our daughter's hostess, the 24-hour period consisted of dinner, a bus ride to a night lab class, homework and then watching some TV with dorm mates, sleep, then class, lunch and more classes the next day. The hostess has a very full schedule but seems to like being a student there.
Our daughter enjoyed her stay very much. I think it helps that both her parents are MSU alumni (it's where we met) and so she's been on campus here and there ever since she can remember. We had been on a campus tour last summer as well. Just the same, a campus the size of Michigan State can seem intimidating at first, so it was good that she wanted to see what it was like getting around and attending some large-sized classes.
I took a couple of pictures yesterday when I returned to pick her up:
This is Beaumont Tower, which you can read about HERE. A true campus landmark.
Near the administration building (alas, nowhere near as attractive a structure as the Golden Dome) is this scene:
The Red Cedar River runs through campus and as this particular section of the river never freezes over (due to a small series of rapids nearby), ducks and other waterfowl live there year-round. And why not? Not only do they have continuous access to open water, but they are fed a steady supply of breadstuffs. I have never seen any of the ducks ever refuse a handout, though you'd think they'd all be as round as beachballs with the junk food and stale bread they are given!
But from the photos it is easy to see that the MSU campus is also very pretty; when I attended there I always felt it was like going to college in a huge park.
We have more campus visits awaiting us, as our daughter still has a little over a year to go before she commits to a college. It is an interesting process to be sure!