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Open House 2014: Concordia rolls out the red carpet for future students

Early registration numbers reach a new high as the university community anticipates the November 8 event
October 28, 2014
By Sarah Buck

With 77 information tables and 52 presentations on the Sir George Williams and Loyola campuses, there’s a lot to take in at Open House. With 77 information tables and 52 presentations on the Sir George Williams and Loyola campuses, there’s a lot to take in at Open House. | Photo by Concordia University

A record-breaking 441 potential Concordians have signed up to attend Open House 2014 this November 8 — more than double the number registered at the same time last year.

Such robust early numbers are an exciting indication that it will be a high-energy, jam-packed event, says Matthew Stiegemeyer, the university’s director of Student Recruitment.

“We’re finding that people are leaving our meetings with recruiters and registering for Open House immediately. There’s a definite sense of anticipation that’s being built when our recruiters talk about the benefits of a Concordia education.”

But Stiegemeyer has found that early registration only tells a small part of the picture when it comes to the full impact of Open House: turnout typically ends up being far greater. Last fall’s Open House and Portfolio Day — a complimentary event at which faculty members and current students assist Fine Arts applicants — culmulatively saw more than 4,000 attendees come out for a glimpse of life at Concordia.

With 77 information tables and 52 presentations on the Sir George Williams and Loyola campuses, there’s a lot to take in — and that doesn’t even include the jam sessions, lemonade stand, Stingers hockey game and tours running all day long. The main incentive for signing up ahead of time? Registrants receive a personalized email with a suggested itinerary of events, determined according to where they live and what program they’re interested in.

Evergon, an associate professor in Studio Arts, has been attending Portfolio Day since it started almost 15 years ago. He’s followed the trajectory of would-be photography students who took the feedback he gave them and used it to strengthen their applications. The results have been stunning.

Many of the students Evergon and his fellow faculty members first met at Portfolio Day have gone on to graduate from their program at Concordia and become working artists. “It feels pretty good,” he says. “I feel like an old mother and these are my kids.”

Evergon and his colleagues are among the 800 staff, faculty, senior administrators and volunteers from across the university community who are also planning to be there on November 8. Together, they form the small army that runs Open House and Portfolio Day. For the first time this year, many will be wearing an "Ask me about . . ." badge, designed to spark stories about an outstanding element of their Concordia experience.

Second-year Theatre Performance student Rémi Mireault is attending Open House in his capacity as an undergraduate ambassador with the university’s Garnet Key Society. Mireault is also pursuing a minor in Business Studies, a range of studies that he says exemplifies the breadth of options available to Concordia students.

That’s the element of the student experience he’ll be highlighting when he talks to future students at Open House. “This flexibility has helped broaden my vision of the world — which just builds so many other opportunities.”

Concordia’s Open House 2014 runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, November 8. Events at Sir George Williams will take place in the Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex (EV) (1515 Ste- Catherine St. W.) and the John Molson School of Business Building (MB) (1450 Guy St.). Events on Loyola Campus will occur in the Richard J. Renaud Science Complex (SP) (7141 Sherbrooke W.).

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