Welcome back to Ambassador tours

Grace Smrcka, Staff writer

Our Mercyhurst University Ambassadors have been hard at work as tours have resumed in person for the spring. There are now in-person tours as well as virtual tours being offered for prospective students each week. Associate director of Admissions, Andrea Grady, provided a run-down of what an in-person tour entails.

“We are continuing to adapt to the changes necessitated by COVID-19, but are confident that we can safely welcome students and families to Mercyhurst while preserving the sense of hospitality and spirit of community that animate life on campus,” Grady said.

During a one-on-one visit, the student and their family will have the option to tour campus with a student Ambassador and meet with an admissions counselor. Campus visits are available throughout the day, Monday through Friday.

While a virtual tour is not quite the same as experiencing our beautiful campus in person, prospective students are still offered ample time for socializing and learning what Mercyhurst is all about.

“Virtual events allow prospective students and families an opportunity to chat with current students, faculty, admissions representatives and members of the Mercyhurst community in a causal setting,” Grady said.

No matter where you are, our virtual events and visits allow you engage with the Mercyhurst community, get answers to your questions and experience what it is like to be a Laker.

The prospective student might not tour campus, but they do get to meet an Ambassador virtually and can watch videos of campus.

Ambassador President, Victoria Altsman, shared her excitement about tours resuming, and a new initiative the organization is trying out.

“We are looking to start live virtual tours where two ambassadors and admissions counselors will go to the tour locations on campus and take prospective students through the tour route in real time, while being able to cut the time between buildings by having two ambassadors switching off at the different locations,” said Altsman. “We are still testing these out, but we have gotten positive responses so far.”

Grady agrees that these have been incredibly successful and adds that they will likely continue even after the pandemic ends.

As the University is still working to fight against COVID-19, the Ambassadors are taking every possible precaution, and then some, to ensure that families feel both welcomed and safe here at Mercyhurst.

Such changes include an updated tour route that follows the directional flow arrows found around campus. The number of tours that the University is offering is limited at this time. Guests are also required to complete the visitor screening upon arrival to Mercyhurst.

“There is a limit to the amount of guests that can attend each in-person tour,” said Grady. “As in the fall, classroom experiences and faculty meetings will not be offered for the time being. Students can connect with faculty through virtual visits.”

Maddie Boorse, junior Intelligence Studies major and Ambassador, is missing having as many prospective students on campus, but has integrated her own special touches into tours to ensure that families get the real Mercyhurst experience.

“The community truly feels like home, which can be hard to tell on a virtual tour,” said Boorse. “Because of this I make it a point to connect with each student based on their interests to really personalize the experience.”