Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of an admissions tour?
The admissions tour is designed to showcase our campus while providing prospective students with a first-hand perspective on campus life from a current student guide (Admissions Ambassador). Tours follow a 60-minute information session led by a member of the admission staff which introduces families to W&L’s distinctions.
Are all tours the same?
Tours during the school year are 60 minutes long, and tours during the summer are 75 minutes long. During the course of the tours, individual ambassadors convey the key distinctions of the university, with an emphasis on the personal nature of the academic experience as embodied in the Speaking Tradition and the Honor System. They also relate relevant personal experiences and respond to questions expressed by prospective students and families.
Due to the length of the tour, the volume of information to convey and the need to respond to interests expressed by prospective students, some tours may cover certain topics more comprehensively than others.
What parts of campus are included on a typical admissions tour?
Tours typically begin at our newest academic building, the Ruscio Center for Global Learning, and end on front campus in Washington Hall, passing University Chapel along the way. On days when multiple tours are taking place at once, tour routes may vary.
Due to time constraints, tour groups are unable to enter many important destinations on campus including Reid Hall, Huntley Hall, Lenfest Center for the Arts, University Chapel, the outdoor athletic fields, the natatorium, the Duchossois Tennis Center, the upper division residence halls, Greek houses, the Liberty Hall Ruins, and the Outing Club pavilion. Each of these destinations is identified and described on the tour. Visitors are provided with a campus map and encouraged to visit other locations on campus on their own.
Who leads the tours and how are they trained?
Over 50 student ambassadors lead tours throughout the year, and they are provided with a comprehensive fact book to familiarize themselves with all aspects of the university. Tour guides also receive formal training from admissions staff and continual updates from across the university about academics, student life, and the evolution of our physical campus.
Do prospective students and families learn about W&L’s history on admissions tours?
While institutional history does not tend to be top-of-mind for most prospective students, Admissions Ambassadors learn about the history of the university as part of their training, and discuss W&L’s history and namesakes at the tour stop in Washington Hall. Families are also encouraged to visit the museums on campus, including the Chapel Galleries, during their visit if they wish.
The Office of Institutional History is currently developing in-person and virtual history tours for those visitors who are interested in a more in-depth exploration of the people, places and events that shaped the university.