college road trip a success
November 18, 2011
The bus departed after school on Wednesday afternoon, and after an eight-hour drive (and a delicious Panera Bread/Atlanta Bread Company dinner stop in Augusta), thirty-five Academy sophomores and juniors and their three chaperones arrived in Atlanta. On Thursday morning, we were greeted with brisk temperatures but clear skies as we headed out to our first college visit of the trip – Emory University. During the admission information session, students heard about Emory’s academic options, internship and study abroad programs, and opportunities for undergraduate research. Tour guides then took us around campus, sharing their own student experiences and explaining the story of Dooley, Emory’s skeletal mascot. After lunch at Cox Hall Food Court and a trip to the bookstore, we headed back into downtown Atlanta to our second school – Georgia Tech. With the largest university co-op program in the country and an undergraduate research requirement, Georgia Tech encourages hands-on, experiential learning, and the undecided engineering program allows students the opportunity to try the different engineering concentrations before declaring a major. After the information session (and a quick peek at the football stadium), we headed out on tour. The campus was buzzing (pun intended!) in preparation for the Georgia Tech-Virginia Tech football game, which was being played that evening. Tailgating tents were being set up everywhere and the student line for free tee shirts snaked all the way through the student center. And then it was off to the last visit of the day – Oglethorpe University. For a change of pace, our student-guided tour came first, and we were able to see an academic building, a dorm room, the student center, and the library. Our admission representative, David Dixon, walked with us and explained the origin of Oglethorpe’s mascot, the Stormy Petrel, a favorite seabird of the university’s namesake and founder of the colony of Georgia, Lord James Oglethorpe. We also learned that the Oglethorpe University Crypt of Civilization is featured in an episode of Life After People, a History channel series. Our visit to Oglethorpe concluded with dinner in the dining hall and then it was back on the bus for the three-hour drive to Greenville.
Friday morning was sunny and slightly warmer as we departed the hotel, Furman University bound. We arrived early, and decided to begin our visit with a trip to the bookstore, where everyone ordered coffee and stocked up on FU gear. Our tour was first, and our guide showed us classrooms, the library, and the dining hall, where we were treated to freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies by the staff. During the information session, we learned that Furman has a four-year on-campus residency requirement, which fosters a rich campus community, and encourages students to take advantage of the cultural opportunities afforded by proximity to downtown Greenville, fostering strong town-gown relations. The university also supports experiential learning by financially compensating students who participate in unpaid internships. After snapping a group photo, we proceeded to the fifth and final college of our tour – Clemson University. After an all-you-can-eat lunch in Harcomb Dining Hall and a brief information session, we headed out on tour. Like Georgia Tech, Clemson was preparing for game day and the campus community was decked out in orange and purple, oozing school pride. While walking around the vast campus, we saw an academic building, the library, and the student center, and bumped into two Academy seniors, Morgan Williford and Madeline Zurowsky, who were also visiting Clemson! Our tour guide shared with us some athletic traditions, including running down “The Hill” and touching Howard’s Rock, before our group headed back to the student center for some homemade ice cream (courtesy of the Clemson Food Science Department) and a bookstore run.
Our college visits complete, we boarded the bus for the trip back to Fayetteville. Everyone was exhausted, but snuggled up in our new college sweatshirts, we agreed that it had been a great trip!
Miss Snead would like to thank the 35 bus trip participants for their enthusiasm, her fellow chaperones, Mrs. Little and Mr. Cameron, for their stamina, and the parents trusting us with their children for two days. She would also like to thank Emory, Georgia Tech, Oglethorpe, Furman, and Clemson for hosting us and Bus Driver Al for getting us where we needed to go. Until next year!
For more information about the universities visited on the college tour, please visit the schools’ websites: