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Prospective Leos find their spots at Spotlight Weekend

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Janelle Pedroza, freshman biology major, dances down the green carpet Saturday in front of the Campus Center to kick off the University of La Verne’s Spotlight Weekend, welcoming the high school students who had been accepted to the University. Mascots Leo and Leah Leopard took posed photos with the prospective students. / photo by Kendra Craighead

Janelle Pedroza, freshman biology major, dances down the green carpet Saturday in front of the Campus Center to kick off the University of La Verne’s Spotlight Weekend, welcoming the high school students who had been accepted to the University. Mascots Leo and Leah Leopard took posed photos with the prospective students. / photo by Kendra Craighead

Vanessa Oceguera
Staff Writer

The cheers echoed across campus as admitted students strutted down the green carpet at Spotlight Weekend, a celebration of success at the University of La Verne, Saturday.

The University held its annual Spotlight Weekend for admitted students and their families to meet current students, make connections with faculty and academic departments and experience college life during an overnight stay in the dorms.

The event provided 188 admitted students and 254 guests with information about housing academics and student life and activities to engage the students and get them excited about the University, said Megan McDevitt, admission counselor.

“What I hope students receive when they come to these events is to see La Verne in the raw and to be able to see the campus, and not only hear about information about academics, housing, but get information on the student life organization, how our students interact here on campus,” McDevitt said.

“Because that’s the one thing that I think is the most unique about La Verne, is the way our students interact, and the different opportunities that they take to get involved, and just their passion for the University.”

Spotlight Weekend started off with lunch and networking in the Athletics Pavilion.

The rain was an initial challenge, but the festivities went on.

Saturday included sessions in academic success and living on campus.

Once the parents left, the students were shown where they would be staying overnight. Sleeping in the dorms gave the students a glimpse of the University’s atmosphere.

“When I have seniors come on campus, my first hope is that they see what our campus community is like,” McDevitt said.

The night concluded with a dance party for the students in the Campus Center.

The ballroom was packed with prospective students dancing to music.

Some played card games at tables and others shot baskets at the basketball arcade machine.

Spotlight leaders talked with the admitted students about the University.

“Not all students are selected to be spotlight leaders,” McDevitt said.

“This year we had a record amount of applications, and so our co-chairs selected the students that are enthusiastic, have different diversity perspectives about them whether it comes from the high school they came from or the different activities they are involved in here on campus so we brought the best leaders possible.”

Freshman psychology major Yulissa Godinez said she knew she wanted to be a spotlight leader since she attended Spotlight Weekend as a senior in high school.

“When I attended Spotlight, I just felt welcomed and home here, and being able to attend it and then being able to help be a leader in it just makes it even better,” Godinez said.

Chino High School senior Julie Venegas has not accepted the University’s admission offer yet, but she said knows she wants to attend because she likes the communications department.

Venegas plans to double major in public relations and multimedia.

She wants to get an internship and heard the University can provide her with skills and has the resources to connect her with one.

“Honestly, I liked La Verne because everyone that I’ve met there has been really welcoming and helpful,” Venegas said.

“La Verne also has a lot of school spirit, so I’m excited to attend.”

Venegas first learned about the University in eighth grade when her homeroom teacher introduced it to her.

She did not know where she wanted to attend college up until this year.

Venegas started researching the University and discovered how many opportunities she would have if she attended it.

“We do have students that are already committed to La Verne,” McDevitt said.

“I do think students are really excited about what La Verne has to offer them for their freshman, sophomore, junior and senior year, so I think we’ll see a lot more of the students that are here today on campus in the future,” McDevitt said.

Vanessa Oceguera can be reached at vanessa.oceguera@laverne.edu.

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