Newly Accepted Pelicans welcomed on-campus

Jamie Zou '23, Staff Writer

The Spring term marks Loomis Chaffee’s welcoming of newly admitted students on campus. March 29, March 31, April 4, and April 6 were announced as this school year’s Pelican Preview days, previously known as Revisit days.
Each preview day included student and faculty organized programming ranging from athletics and theater info sessions to residential life panels that were all intended to help the potential students envision life on campus. This year’s programming consisted of the usual: registration, addresses, tours, program presentations, and community period.
During the community period, prospective students were given an opportunity to explore clubs and athletics by talking to student representatives from each team and organization. Life at Loomis panels were also held to allow boarders and day students share their respective experiences on-campus.
Despite having to work around COVID-19 regulations, revisit days have remained constant through the years at Loomis. However, the admissions office also implemented many changes to better this year’s Pelican Preview days. “We utilized an app this year [that] was very helpful,” Director of Admission and Financial Aid Nancy Cleary said.
The app allowed Loomis to share the school schedule, a campus map, a list of clubs and activities offered, and a comprehensive list of “Loomis lingo” (terms commonly used around the Island).
The planning process began back in the fall of 2021 but was in flux until early March due to the unpredictability of changing COVID-19 protocols. Associate Directors of Admissions Ali Murphy and Bill Ball supervised the programming, which included Pelican Preview Days and virtual tours for families unable to get to campus.
“There is a great deal of planning that goes into creating a structure to [our school day] that is not overly disruptive to the class schedule but allows visitors a broad experience while on campus,” Mrs. Cleary said.
“One of the notable things about Pelican Preview Days is the incredible response of the entire Loomis community as we came together to welcome newly admitted students,” Mrs. Cleary added.
Tour guides gave tours to hundreds of people, students hosted more than 220 visitors, and teachers welcomed newly admitted students and their parents to experience the classroom space firsthand. Beyond that, the Physical Plant and Communications Office also spent weeks in advance preparing the campus to look its best for visitors.
The extraordinary effort of the Loomis community seems to have paid off, as “the response we have gotten from families has been overwhelmingly positive,” Mrs. Cleary said.
Further additions to Pelican Preview Days include virtual programming, consisting of a Q&A session with Head of School Sheila Culbert, virtual tours, a BIPOC roundtable, an International Student roundtable, and Meet a Pelican. The new Loomis Said Yes portal is another resource with digital content to help newly admitted students familiarize themselves with Loomis. An extensive Parent Ambassador program has been organized by Associate Director of Admissions Jake Smith for newly admitted parents to reach out directly to current parents with any questions or concerns.
Unlike last year, where the unpredictable outbreak of the pandemic seemingly limited new pelicans’ ability to visit the school, the Admission Office has made outstanding efforts to make Pelican Preview Days a successful reality—a return to normalcy that not only welcomes students from every part of the world, but to also showcase our community’s collective positivity.
“Despite everything that has been going around campus and in the rest of the world, Loomis remains true to its core value of inclusivity and for the common good. Everywhere you go, you can see a big smile on people’s faces, whether it is a worker, a teacher, or a student,” Seth Sukboontip ’23 said.