Today was one of my favorite days at JMU – Choices, the open house for students who have been accepted to the university. Translated, that means all the smart and motivated kids that we really want to come to our university.
I love these days because the whole school turns out in purple to welcome the visitors, answer their questions, and give them a taste of our school spirit. And we do have school spirit. As much in our little pinkie toe as in whole other schools. It's incredible and part of why I love working here so much.
People comment all the time on how happy everyone is. It's not an act, it just is that way. People are happy and really like it here. The students go home and tell all their younger friends how much they love it and each application class gets bigger and bigger and bigger. We jokingly tell people we put something in the water, but it really does seem like we are all on happy juice.
For five years I have coordinated the volunteers on the Commons, the central meeting place of our school right by the dining hall. Tons of activity there every day – info tables, bands, philanthropy activities, people hanging out on the hill… Just a hopping place.
My job on Choices days, as hard as it is, is to hang out on the Commons from 10am-2pm and make sure all the volunteers know what they are supposed to do. What are they supposed to do? Stand around in purple shirts, smile, and talk to people. Seriously! I call it being purple and it's one of the things I will miss terribly when I leave JMU this summer.
A group of purple volunteers…
This is not a great shot, but you can see the crowd coming towards us. It goes all the way back and curves around towards the left. We had about 3600 prospective students and family members on campus today. Could not have asked for better weather in February – 60 degrees and sunny. Bea-u-ti-ful.