The following was published in our annual newsletter to guidance counselors, which mailed in September 2011.

September 2011

Dear Colleague,

I have two favorite days on campus each year. One is when the new students arrive each fall — they show up so excited, so open, so fresh, so unfinished … and so full of possibility. Though they’re completely over admissions, they suffer through my orientation welcome and are still “ours” until I officially hand them over to the faculty and community at our annual convocation ceremony held on the eve of the first day of classes. In that moment, they become Hamilton students.

My other favorite day is graduation. Even though the Admission Office’s role in that ceremony is nowhere near as official as convocation (heck, I’m not even part of the platform party), I like it just as much. I get to process behind the bagpipers, sit in the front row, and beam proudly and cheer loudly (metaphorically speaking) as each student crosses the big stage. In that moment, they become Hamilton graduates.

Of course, a college experience is so much more than the on-ramp and the off-ramp. All of the ordinary (and not so glamorous) days in between — the hard work, the failure, the determination, the heartache, the friendships, the lessons, the education — are what matter. And especially as a parent of a newly minted college graduate (those front-row seats are not overrated — my husband and I sat in the nosebleed section for her ceremony), I can (now) appreciate the many turns in the road along that journey that ultimately led her to stand a little taller, smile a little wider and hug us a little tighter on her graduation day.

But for this gal who is a big sucker for tradition, pomp and circumstance, caps and gowns, and the sound of bagpipes (which move me to tears every time), I can only think of one thing better than participating in those two ceremonial events. And that is being a part of them this year, as Hamilton celebrates its bicentennial. It was both humbling and inspiring to recruit this College’s 200th entering class, and the privilege of presenting them to our community is not one that I will soon take for granted.

As usual, this newsletter includes an assortment of statistics and graphs about Hamilton’s newest students. I never want you to think we reduce our students to numbers, but at the same time we want to be completely transparent and open with you about our selection process, and it is in that spirit that we send you this summary. Also, while I know you hate reading boring missives about yet another college’s record-breaking year (and I hate writing them), I must admit that setting an application record for Hamilton in this celebratory year was especially pleasing. Now if I can just find a way to make sure we freeze enrollment at this year’s target of 1,812 (yes, that’s the year we were founded) … our favorite founding father would be so proud.

With profound gratitude for your collegiality and partnership,

Monica C. Inzer
Dean of Admission and Financial Aid

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