Think hard and remember that day in high school. A UD admission counselor is speaking to your class, or calling you on the phone, or walking you around campus on your very first visit.
On June 27-29, former director of admission Myron Achbach ’58 brought more than 50 of those same admission counselors together again.
“During my time as director, I hired many people,” he said. “Some stayed for a short time, others for a long time, but they were all very special.”
Every generation from the past 40 years had their own successes and challenges in their world of counseling and recruitment, but the spirit of UD has only strengthened with time.
According to Bob Byrne ’76, the end of the Vietnam War increased interest in the University considerably during his counseling years from 1976-79.
“Dayton has always had a strong reputation among Catholic high schools on the East Coast,” he said. “We looked for students with a strong desire to succeed, who were well rounded and serious about their education, even if they weren’t valedictorian. We took students who had maybe hit some bumps in the road, because Dayton always saw those bumps as motivators for the future.”
Fast forward to the ’80s, when counselors on the road used maps to find their target high schools, and stopped to find a phone when they were lost or delayed. Yet Kathy Kehner, a current counselor who began working at UD in 1984, said their recruitment ideology remained the same.
“Students have come from everywhere, but they’ve always been the same type of student,” she said. “I could look at someone, see their genuine and down-to-earth personality and just think, ‘They are UD.’ “
Ten years later, admission counselors were witnessing a big change in enrollment, and the UD community was growing stronger than ever. Alison King Duchene ’97, a counselor from 1998-2001, saw the University begin its first waiting list.
To date, UD’s acceptance rate is 59%. And while some of that number can be attributed to admission counselors’ influence on family, UD’s reputation sometimes spoke for itself.
“My son gravitated here on his own,” said Missy Wildenhaus Natale ’87, a counselor from 1984-88. “He’s heard my husband and I talk about how great UD is for all these years, but we never pressured him to go here just because we did. He visited with an open mind, and he chose it because it felt right to him.”
Just as it has to generations of Flyers.