An open letter:
Two weeks ago, our campus welcomed 1,300 admitted students to the College, all here to assess whether Harvard College is the right place for them to spend the next four years. This weekend, known as Visitas, is a chance for admitted students to learn what it means to be a Harvard student and to be a part of the greater Harvard community.
Nowhere are the strength and scope of this community more apparent than in the tireless work that you all put into making this weekend a unique experience. Over 850 of you opened up your dorm rooms to admitted students, offering floor space and futons, as well as friendly advice and guidance around our campus. Many of you played an active role in planning the over 100 student-run events that occurred on campus during the weekend, everything from debates and barbecues to performances and information sessions. Some of you joined the House Committees and Peer Advising Fellows in welcoming students from back home during regional receptions held in the upperclass houses. Still others merely offered a friendly face and a point in the right direction as admitted students made their way around campus, requisite red folders and Class of 2016 backpacks in tow.
Visitas is an immense undertaking that involves every corner of campus, and we rely on you to show admitted students what the Harvard College experience is really like. This year, you delivered on this promise once again. As admitted students wandered back through Agassiz House to say farewell on Monday—a little tired but smiling nonetheless—the constant refrain was one of infectious excitement and eagerness for what is to come. One young woman said it best when she remarked, “I don’t want to leave. I already feel like this is home.”
So, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you all for your hard work to make Visitas a success, and we hope you will demonstrate the same enthusiasm in welcoming these students to campus next year.
William R. Fitzsimmons '67 is the Dean of Admissions & Financial Aid at Harvard College. Valerie A. Beilenson ’07 is the Director of Visitas. M. Amelia Muller ’11 is the Assistant Director of Visitas.