An excited crowd of students gathered in the Sunken Garden Monday around 2:30 p.m., all sporting bright yellow and green clothing. They smiled and cheered as a photographer snapped shots, happy to take part in the centerpiece event of the Coronation Day celebration.
Although the coronation of King William and Queen Mary occurred hundreds of years ago, the College of William and Mary’s official Coronation Day is only two years old. The event began last year to commemorate the rulers for whom the College is named, but also to celebrate the College’s present identity and to impress admitted students with a spirited campus.
“It’s a big deal historically, and we want to convince admitted students that this is the right place, especially by connecting with alumni,” Senior Assistant Dean of Admission Wendy Livingston said. “We want to give the school enthusiasm about itself. We hope that we can rejuvenate school spirit.”
According to Livingston, though Coronation Day is a day for admitted students, but it is meant to be different from Admitted Students Day. Coronation Day includes Alumni Association receptions for admitted students in different areas of the country, the Green and Gold photo shoot and a student photo contest, the reward for which is dinner with College President Taylor Reveley.
“The event is in conjunction with the Alumni Association,” Livingston said. “That way, the alumni can connect with admitted students. Also, admitted students can see faculty and students wearing green and gold, which drums up enthusiasm.”
While touring and meeting current students and professors plays a large role in choosing a college, the importance of meeting alumni is often overlooked. The Alumni Association, however, wants to make it more of a tradition, especially for out-of-state students who may be able to meet alumni from their state more easily than they can visit the College.
“[Meeting admitted students] is an opportunity for us to share our experiences and what to expect out of the education,” Eric Eickhoff, assistant director of alumni programs for the Alumni Association, said. “Anytime we interact with admitted students, it’s a good thing.”
Eickhoff said the admitted student receptions varied depending on the Alumni Association chapter’s interest and ability to organize the event.
“Some were small and intimate, and others had upwards of 100 people,” Eickhoff said.
Another big part of Coronation Day was the Green and Gold photo shoot.
“The idea is that as many students as possible dress in the school colors,” Susan Evans, the College’s director of Creative Services, said. “The picture is available on the Flickr site and the William and Mary homepage.”
Students who attended the photo shoot said they enjoyed themselves.
“[The photo shoot] was a great way to bring people together,” Danett Song ’13 said. “It really exemplified the passion we have for the school.”