Prospective students visit for “Monday with the Mules”

‘Berg welcomed 100+ families for campus tours on Presidents’ Day.

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Marissa Steiner '22 gives a tandem tour in the snow. Photo from @muhlenbergcollege on Instagram.

Muhlenberg’s campus was buzzing on Presidents’ Day, Feb. 21, with students doing school work outside or playing pickup games of frisbee. With the nice weather and a day off for most high schools came a large number of families coming to the College for campus tours. Many students could look around and see handfuls of families wherever they went, creating an exciting atmosphere mixed with the beautiful weather. 

“It was such a lively and energetic day, and I think it really showed what the Muhlenberg community is all about to the families that were visiting campus,” shared Gabi Hirshfield ‘24, a new ‘Berg tour guide.

Over 118 families came to campus for “Monday with the Mules,” a visitor program advertised for prospective families. The 10:00 a.m. time slot saw 42 families in a single hour, the highest number throughout the day, requiring 20 tour guides to accommodate the sheer number of visitors on campus.

“It was a bit overwhelming having so many tours out at once, however admissions did a great job spacing families out and making adjustments,” said Marissa Steiner ‘22, a veteran tour guide and tour guide executive board member. “It was also so great getting some normalcy back as tours and visitors have been limited due to COVID, so for me it brought me back to my years as an underclassman tour guide.”

“It was one of our largest visit programs since the start of the pandemic, and was also a place for our newer tour guides to be cleared, which is always super exciting.”

Veteran tour guide Chris Xu ’22

The week before Presidents’ Day saw a push to approve as many new tour guides as possible to help manage the large sum of families seeking out tours. In order to be cleared, new tour guides have to shadow (observe) two tours, give two tandem (co-lead) tours, and lastly give an entire tour to a family while being observed by a tour guide executive board member. After this process, the Office of Admissions was able to clear over 20 new tour guides within the span of two weeks.

“For me, it hasn’t been stressful clearing tour guides for this year because the tour guides are coming in twice a week versus once a week so they were able to get prepared and trained quicker than in past years,” explained Stacey Carpency, senior assistant director of admissions. “We had [the tour guides] ready to go before the families came to visit and we were able to use other weeks to get everyone cleared.”

The rush of families on Presidents’ Day allowed for the tour guides to interact with prospective students and learn more about themselves as guides representing the College.

“I’m mainly looking forward to giving more tours and getting to know and communicate with prospective students.”

Gabi Hirshfield ’24

“After giving three tours on Monday, I really got a feel for how I want to give my tours and how I want to interact with the families that visit campus,” said Hirshfield.

“My favorite part of ‘Monday with the Mules’ was probably interacting with so many eager students and clearing our new tour guides,” shared Steiner. “It was great watching families fall in love with Muhlenberg like I did, and even more special watching the new tour guides see that too. Since this is my last semester as a tour guide, I am excited to continue making an impact on our community and the future student body of Muhlenberg.”

“Monday with the Mules” was the perfect opportunity for new Muhlenberg tour guides to exercise their newfound skills in giving tours and for veteran tour guides to share their years of experience with prospective students. 

“I hope for [the tour guides] to have awesome experiences with the families and more individualized interactions so having tours be smaller and more one-on-one experiences to be able to share your stories,” explained Carpency. “I am also excited for the tour guides to gain experience professionally with learning how to answer questions quickly and on their feet and learn how to interact with other people. Also sharing your stories and reasons to why you chose Muhlenberg is reaffirming for the tour guides as well as helping families make that decision on their own.”

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