The SA College Fair: One of the Best in the Region.

Sofia Rodriguez, Staff Writer

Sponsored by Associate Director of College Counselling Scott Johnson, the SA College Fair, a tradition since the mid-1980s, took place on Tuesday, Sept. 18, around campus for the entirety of the school day. Johnson has worked with the College Fair for the past six years; it began with the assistance of Mimi Bradley, founder of the SA College Fair, who retired in 2014. The SA College Fair has evolved since its founding and continues to do so each year.

“The colleges were set up along the perimeter of the classrooms in the Upper School,” Johnson said. “Mimi Bradley had really developed the Fair into one of the best in the country and she did it by adding seminars and college presentations where you can, actually, go and listen to the spiel from the college.”

This year’s fair had 68 colleges make an appearance. Students had the choice of picking two different school’s presentations, which were made to give each student more information about a specific college he or she is interested in. For, both, the new and regular Fair student-attenders, the thought of college is overwhelming.

“I think the main thing is to be proactive, personable, and open-minded; be like a sponge and take in all the information you possibly can,” Johnson said. “However, you don’t have to put pressure on yourself to talk to every college or to feel like you’re on a college interview when you talk to them.”

As college ambassadors provided as much information about each school as possible, SA’s very own, Dr. Carolyn Brown, stood as a college ambassador for Duke.

“Well, I particularly like the SA College Fair because they get the tenth graders involved early,” Brown said. “Maybe in tenth grade they’re just picking up brochure, but in eleventh grade they’re thinking about better questions to ask a rep or they pinpoint certain schools that they are really interested in, which shows the growth through the grades.”

In addition to attending the school, Brown shows her enthusiastic support for Duke.

“I love Duke; I never wanted to go anywhere else,” Brown said. “I’m about to go back to the campus for my 35threunion, and I’m still doing this. That’s how much my Duke experience meant to me. It has great academics and every student is ambitious, which pushes you to want to be better, and yet we have a lot of fun. I can’t say enough about it.”

As a variety of students filled the ARC, many seniors came back to certain colleges they were looking to apply to or colleges that they have already applied to. One student in particular Senior Callie Keen has been easing towards attending Samford University next fall.

“My expectations are to talk to the colleges that I’ve already applied to, so that I can get more points on demonstrated interest and to find out more information about the application process and deadlines,” Keen said. “I’m looking forward to talking to the recruiters from Samford University most because that’s my top-choice, and I really want to know more about the school. Overall, my expectations were fulfilled.”

With over 65 colleges present, the ARC was bustling with teachers, students, and eager college ambassadors. Some colleges ranged from being located in the home-state of Mississippi all the way to sunny California. In addition, multiple Ivy Leagues made an appearance, such as Brown University, Harvard University, and Yale University.

Some students may not realize how comfortable they need to be with their college-choosing before attending. The SA College Fair provides ample opportunities for students to visit different people with insider information about the school they stand for, multiple seminars that provide more information than what is in the brochure of a school, and some seminars that provide information about some options that all colleges provide.

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