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The Journal Gazette

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette James Velez speaks with prospective IPFW students and family members during Sunday's Fall Campus Visit Day at Rhinehart Music Center.

Monday, November 13, 2017 1:00 am

Prospective students see IPFW 'at its best'

Transition a topic at Visit Day

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

As a resource fair bustled inside IPFW's International Ballroom with prospective students Sunday, Kenneth Christmon greeted an apparent father-son pair.

Although the associate vice chancellor of admissions' interaction with the Gary residents was brief, the message was clear: “We want you here.”

The annual Fall Campus Visit Day gave more than 650 prospective students an opportunity to picture themselves on campus as members of the first Purdue University Fort Wayne freshman class.

Indiana and Purdue universities will end their more than 50-year alliance next year, becoming Indiana University Fort Wayne and Purdue University Fort Wayne.

Although the Walb Student Union was adorned in IPFW's colors – blue and white balloons dotted the hallway – and giveaways included blue IPFW bags, reminders of the looming split were unavoidable. Informational signs carried the name “Purdue University Fort Wayne,” and some personnel looked the part by sporting black-and-gold attire.

The campus visit day, which lasted much of the afternoon, included departmental open houses, campus tours and a resource fair featuring 51 booths that offered information on academic programs, student housing and student life, among other topics.

The women's basketball home opener in the Gates Sports Center also gave prospective Mastodons a sampling of student life.

“They're seeing us at our best,” Christmon said.

Marion residents Alexis Moore and her mother, Tiffany Foard, paused to watch the basketball game from an open door.

Although Moore is considering other in-state colleges, Foard said there was a lot to like at IPFW – security, student housing close to campus, small classrooms and one-on-one attention from professors.

“And it's close to home,” Foard said.

That's not necessarily the case for every prospective student. IPFW participates in the Midwest Student Exchange Program, a multistate tuition reciprocity program, and Christmon expects the next freshman class will bring geographical diversity to campus, representing such states as Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio.

IPFW junior Naomi Zipay, who is from northwest Indiana, spent the afternoon giving campus tours. She liked meeting out-of-towners because their interest in IPFW reinforced its image as a good school, she said.

She acknowledged that leaving home can often be difficult, and she encourages new students to reach out to others on campus. That improved her experience at IPFW, she said.

“It's my second home,” Zipay said. “I'm here all the time.”

asloboda@jg.net