Corey Punter is a 2007 graduate of the Prep. He completed his BA at John Jay College and has served in the Prep’s Associate Director of Admissions for the past two years.
One freshman turns to a classmate and asks, “Are you a guide today?”. This is how most mornings begin from October through December in the Prep lobby. Most days, ten eager freshmen dressed in their khakis, collared shirt, suit jacket and uniquely fashioned tie report to the lobby, awaiting the arrival of current eighth grade students who have come to spend a day at the Prep. While our freshman guides wait to meet their eager eighth-grade visitors and their parents, they talk about their classes, athletics and their transition to the Prep.
For over 40 years, visiting 8th grade students were welcomed in the administrative hallway by Admissions Director, Mr. Arthur McCormack and later Mr. Christopher Lauber ‘79. Many Prep graduates may remember receiving the maroon and white “Just Looking” button which gave birth to the nickname “JL”, one that is still heard today. Many JLs calmed their nerves on the putting green in Mr. Lauber’s office while others talked with their guides, patiently waiting for their day to begin.
Rebranded as the Ram for a Day Program, the Admissions Office hosts approximately 400 eighth graders during the fall and winter months. On any given day, approximately 10 young men from various schools across the metropolitan area walk into the lobby of Shea Hall to spend one full school day in the company of a current Prep freshman. A handshake and smile from their freshman guide let them know their shadow day at the Prep has officially begun.
For most prospective students, their day begins with both anxiety and excitement as their experience includes a different commute and new environment. Although most students have met members of the admissions team during school visits or at high school fairs, Fordham Prep remains largely unfamiliar.
As part of the East Wing Project, the Admissions Office will move from its current location in the school’s Administrative Center. The space currently housing our Directors of School and College Counseling as well as our mental health clinicians, located just steps away from the lobby. This area will be transformed into the new Admissions Suite. The new location will be a welcoming and comfortable space for both virtual and in-person meetings with prospective students and their families. The new Admissions Suite will also become a central location for prospective 8th grade visitors during their Ram for a Day visit.
In the new suite, spacious and attractive furnishings will house important materials including the admissions view book, open house magazine and athletic brochure. Survey data tells us that the Ram for a Day Program tends to be the most significant and deciding factor when prospective students choose to attend the Prep. Our hope is that the new Admissions Suite will enhance that experience and reflect the environment in which students seek to spend their formative years.
We could not be more excited to use this new space. It is sure to help us meet all of our admissions goals. With a Ram for Victory!