It took only one step inside the lobby doors of OEC and I could literally sense the goodness. Was it the seven-dozen cookies, 10-dozen donuts, countless slices of banana bread or puffy muffins neatly lined up on large tables welcoming Tommie Days visitors? Was it the delightful bouquets of purple flowers on the tables, a sunny sight on a dark and rainy fall morning? Was it the warm aroma of fresh coffee and juice greeting the gaggle of guests?

“Tommie Days” unfolded right outside my office on the first floor of OEC last Thursday and Friday. The sounds of our helpful Admissions counselors answering similar if not identical questions over and over again, each time with an authentic smile in their voice, filled the halls. As I eavesdropped in between meeting current students and – I’ll admit – snacking on a cookie or two, I experienced a real source of sweetness on our campus. Yes, define the term “sweet” however you will: “awesome,” “delightful,” “pleasing to the senses” or “gratifying.” I think the work of our Admissions staff is all that, and more.


Indeed, we each play an important role on campus, carrying out the mission of St. Thomas. What struck me about Tommie Days was the tireless yet upbeat and relentless yet sunny work of the Admissions staff. They are, as a team, quite remarkable to watch in action. How do they continue to greet every new prospective student and parent with the same positivity as the hundred (thousand) before? How do they maintain a genuine smile, offer helpful advice and provide smart, accurate and insightful information about all of St. Thomas’ academic, residential, co-curricular, spiritual, recreational and athletic … I’m sure I’m missing many others here … programs?

I have no clue. But what I do know is that our Admissions team is one well-run and energy-filled group doing some really important and hard work: representing the work of the rest of us! It isn’t easy work (I can make that claim with a bit of expertise, being married to a guy who works with Admissions at a nearby university). It sure is important work. And it’s hard work, especially in these tough economic times. Yet they make it look easy.

Great work, Admissions! We appreciate what you do.

One Response

  1. John Bannigan, Bloomington

    As a former admissions counselor, I can confirm the comments Dr. Bruess made about admissions work not being easy. You have to make a great first impression, and you may have to do that five or six times every day. I think our Admissions Office is spectacular! It has surpassed the enrollment goals in each of the last several years. The entire St. Thomas community owes these people a huge thank you!