Baker’s Visitor Center gets a new update


Aalia Khan

The Visitor Center, located in Denious Hall, has recently been updated to be more welcoming to visiting students.

The Baker University Office of Admissions officially announced its updated Visitor Center on Jan. 31. The Visitor Center, located in Denious Hall, can now have up to 20 visitors a day compared to last semester’s six to eight visitors a day.

With the “new” Visitor Center, potential new students are stationary in one building for the majority of their visit, aside from the campus tour. Before, students walked around campus to meet with coaches, faculty, other students and advisors. This now all happens in the updated Visitor Center and it is less taxing on the admissions staff to organize visit days.

Eva Durand, Assistant Director of the Campus Visit Experience, explains that one of her favorite things about the New Visitor Center was the decorating process and making the place more “Bakerized”. Durand hopes that the new Visitor Center will be a place that better welcomes new students.

“I hope it makes them feel more at home and that baker is the place they want to be,” Durand said. “I want them to feel that we are going out of our way to make them feel welcome for the short time they are here and that they are the center of attention.”

One of Durand’s favorite things about the new Visitor Center is how they stuck with the old Baker Tradition of naming each room after the four gates of the university: King Arthur’s Court, House of Hanover, Columbian Commonwealth and Senatus Romanus. Durand also points out that the permanent staff and UAA staff have all had a very positive attitude about the whole process.

Dr. Cassy Bailey, Interim Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, was happy to say that staff didn’t have to break the bank to add the new Visitors Center either. Most of the decorations were either in storage or donated by Baker University staff; only $150 were spent on three Baker Wetlands signs to add to the center.

Bailey offered her thoughts on how the New Visitor Center would change visitor visits to Baker University. She explained that it “shows off Baker in a professional and high-quality way, while still making sure that the visit is still personalized to that one person.”

Sophomore Lee Marshall III is one of about 40 University Admissions Assistants who work in the Admissions office. Marshall explains that from the UAA standpoint, the New Visitor Center makes his job easier because he is not taking visitors to different buildings around campus to meet with whoever is on their itinerary.

“The visitor is in one place all day, besides their campus tour, so we don’t have the mix-up and changes like we used to have sometimes,” Marshall said. “Learning the different rooms is confusing at first but it’s just more of a learning curve and everyone will get better at knowing the rooms with time.”

Bailey said that evaluations are sent out to the visitors at the end of their visits and is an excellent resource for the staff in admissions. That way, they are aware of what can be improved for future visit days and what visitors think of the new Visitor Center. There is hope that the new addition to the Office of Admissions will help Baker increase the number of students attending and the number of students visiting as well.