Lauren Ruth – Staff Writer
Gustavus is hosting its annual Scholarship Day on Saturday, Nov. 13 and 20, 2021. This year the organizers decided to split it into two separate days to create a more socially distanced event. The option for students to attend virtually is also available. Scholarship Day is an event in which admitted students come to campus to be interviewed for various scholarships. It is an important part of the college’s efforts to recruit students of “high aspiration and promise,” Professor in History and African Studies Greg Kaster quoted from the Gustavus Mission Statement.
Scholarship Day is an event that welcomes between 175 and 200 families to the campus. It is an event where “students come to demonstrate their creativity, expertise, and interests, as well as talk about their goals and passions,” Senior Associate Dean of Admissions Lindsey Owens stated. The event is hosted by the Admissions Office and assisted by Gustavus faculty, staff and students.
Attendees are nominees invited to interview for various scholarships that Gustavus offers. These include the President’s Scholarship, the Jussi Bjorling Music Scholarship, the Evelyn Young Theatre/Dance Scholarship and the Gustavus Art Scholarship. Students do not need to major or minor within the department of the scholarship or qualify. Students are interviewed by professors and faculty to determine if the student should receive the available scholarships.
In addition to interviews, Gustavus hosts a welcome session, faculty-led academic panels, theatre and dance auditions, art scholarship community critiques and a Bjorling Music Connections session. This is designed to provide students and families information about the college. It also provides an opportunity for students to experience Gustavus and its facilities. Finally, Gustavus dining service is also organizing an optional luncheon.
Scholarship Day is an opportunity for students and professors can meet and converse. The school attempts to match up attendees with professors in their field of study. According to English Department Co-Chair and professor Sean Cobb, it is a great experience for professors because it allows students to work closer with professors at Gustavus. “The professors are the best representatives of Gustavus because they interact most closely with the students on a daily basis,” said Cobb. A point of pride at Gustavus is the amazing student/teacher relationships that are created. Cobb takes the opportunity of Scholarship Day to pitch students on what is great about Gustavus, the community, and the English major. If the students decide to attend Gustavus, Cobb remembers them and already has a connection prior to attending.
Scholarship day is a tradition at Gustavus for many reasons. Gustavus has a strong commitment to making education financially accessible for students. “The event is a way for Gustavus to celebrate the incredible talents, impressive achievements, and the hard work of our incoming future Gusties,” Owens commented.