Never Fear, Committee Is Here!

We Admit It! It’s been a little while since you’ve heard from us. A lot has happened since we last posted. Kendrick Lamar and the cast of Hamilton set the stage on fire at the Grammys. Peyton Manning Omaha’d his way to a Super Bowl championship. And Leonardo DiCaprio finally won an Oscar (which, coincidentally, is the same number of Oscars won by Nicolas Cage).

What have we been up to over the past month? The answer, in a word, is reading. February and March are two of our busiest months of the year. By now we have received, sorted and thoroughly enjoyed reviewing all of our roughly 15,000 undergraduate applications. You’ll remember that all of the applications we receive are read by at least two members of our admission committee. Your application is first read by a member of our admission committee other than your regional dean. Your application is then read by your regional dean, who uses the first reader’s notes, their own personal impression of your application, as well as their knowledge of your high school and state/region in order to formulate their own thoughts about your file. Once both of these reads are complete, it’s then time to discuss your application in a new setting: committee.

While staff meetings and other gatherings in our office grant us opportunities to talk about some of the great applications we’ve read, it is not until committee begins that we are able to, in a group, formally discuss each applicant and officially build the freshman class one individual at a time. Our committee meetings will take place each and every day for the next few weeks. During these meetings we’ll intently examine our applicants’ academic records, pay close attention to the letters written to us by teachers and other mentors, discuss our applicants’ wonderful essays and consistently become humbled by our applicants’ many accomplishments. Committee takes a lot of time and a lot of hard work, but it is one of the most rewarding parts of our job. Your stories and talents never cease to impress us.

To help sustain us through these long meetings, we of course stick to the four main food groups: candy, chips, chocolate and sugar. Theyspring 16 snack cart say a picture is worth a thousand words, and, well, we’ll let this picture do all the talking. Anyone who says dreams don’t come true has clearly never seen our Admission Committee snack cart. In fact, rumor has it that our snack cart was the inspiration for Maroon 5’s hit single Sugar. While this hasn’t officially been confirmed, we like to think it’s true.

So hang in there over the next few weeks, and rest assured that your application is getting our utmost attention and care. We’ll begin posting our popular Overheard in Committee series in the near future in order to keep you updated on how things are going here in Williamsburg.

Brad Harlan
Assistant Dean of Admission

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