I read with interest the comments of Mr. Bailey-Fougnier, one of the candidates for ASU Interim President, regarding the importance of providing a welcoming atmosphere for students at ASU. He believes that retention is the responsibility of everyone on campus as well as the community.
His comments resonated with me as I immediately thought back to our visit to the Adams State campus in August of 1972. Both my husband and I planned to continue our educations beginning in the fall of 1973 at one of the state colleges in Colorado. We had narrowed our choices to Adams State and Western State. We took a road trip from the suburbs of Philadelphia to Colorado in early August to visit these two campuses.
Adams State was our first stop. The summer session had concluded. The campus was very quiet, yet we were able to easily determine the building where administrative offices would be located. We walked into Richardson Hall and stopped at the first office we found with an open door. We were pleasantly greeted by the secretary and began explaining the reason for our visit. Mr. William “Bill” Peters was then Dean of Men. He heard our conversation and immediately came out of his office to greet us. He took us on a tour of the campus and spent most of an hour visiting with us and answering our many questions.
Our next stop was Western State. Summer session had concluded there as well. The campus was deserted. We could not determine the main administrative building. We couldn’t even find a person to ask. I remember walking around the campus for a short while and getting no sense of its identity or community. We left knowing that Adams State would be where we were headed. Our applications for admission would not be submitted to Western State. They would, instead, be sent to Adams State, and, as the saying goes, “The rest is history.”
In this day of diminished actual person to person contact, it is important to remember that personal service and genuine congeniality really do resonate with everyone and have a huge impact in forming first impressions.
Susan Robinson, Alamosa