The weekend of Nov. 18 and 19 marked another Odyssey Days weekend for the University of Dallas. Just over 90 prospective students and many of their family members spent Friday and Saturday on campus getting to know UD.
For the second time, the Office of Undergraduate Admission asked all the students and faculty at UD to wear blue all day Friday around campus for the recently introduced Blue Out.
“We are such a close community here. Students can feel that, and they can see it vividly,” said Brooke Dailey, the Assistant Vice President of Admission, who introduced the idea of a Blue Out. “This is just a small way to show your pride in UD.”
The term “Odyssey Days” is somewhat overused in the UD community. Drew Klein, Campus Visit Coordinator, described the attitude of many people at UD. “If there are a bunch of people coming to campus, it must be Odyssey Days,” he said. Odyssey Days, however, is an extremely specific program.
Odyssey Days is open to high school seniors. Those who come may or may not have applied to the school already, so the two days they spend on campus may be essential to their college decision.
Students arrive early Friday morning and spend the day attending classes and information sessions, going on tours, eating in the cafeteria, and if they choose to, going to Mass at the Church of the Incarnation. Parents and their students may split up in order to attend two events at the same time.
Friday night, some of the prospective students stayed in the freshman dorms overnight with a host. Klein and Dailey said that all student hosts of prospective students form part of an organization called Freshmen Admission Volunteers, or FAVs. Each prospective student is able to contact his or her FAV prior to the Odyssey Days weekend, so they can get to know each other.
On Saturday, a scholarship and financial aid session was hosted for the parents, and the students attended a talk on the Rome program by Professor Emeritus Lyle Novinski, who was instrumental in the founding of the program. Finally, the weekend offers both a student and a parent panel, so all those attending can ask the necessary questions.
Klein said that the purpose of Odyssey Days is to get all the prospective students in touch with the correct people to answer their questions about UD. He said, “I’m just trying to put these visitors in front of the experts.”
Odyssey Days provides a great opportunity for prospective students to take a look into a day in the life of a UD student. Being on campus with the faculty and the rest of the students allows them to see how they would become a part of the UD community. Dailey said, “I love meeting with the students – actually seeing them here on campus and seeing how they incorporate with the rest of the student body.”