Saturday, February 15, 2014


Florida Southern 
Lakeland, FL
Mascot: Moc
(the Moccasin snake)

Florida Southern has the pleasure of being a campus that also is the showcase of a famous Architect's vision. Sometimes referred to as "Frank Lloyd Wright’s campus,” 12 of the original 18 buildings which were designed by FLW by request of the college president. For this reason, the campus has been designated as a national historic landmark. In 1938 the college president asked FLW to design and construct “a great American college temple.”

The result is one of the most striking campus building's I've had the pleasure of seeing.

If you aren't a fan of Lloyd Wright, this campus would ironically be one of the great eyesores of the American Collegiate landscape, but thankfully, I found the place beautiful.

Florida Southern is certainly impacted by its architecture, but it certainly isn't defined by it. The students, facilities and faculty clearly demonstrated that it was another little collegiate gem in Florida, but as I was almost 10 days into a college tour, I must admit to being more focused on the things that made it different from the places I've seen.

Perhaps it was the extent to which I missed my dog, Gus, but I was thrilled by the concept at FSC of the campus dog. This is the first I’ve heard of a school having an official campus dog. Bailey lives in counseling center and loves to comfort, love, and play with anyone on campus. Students can check him out for a walk, or just stop by to say hi. It made me want to go back to NMH and build a campus doghouse off the back of my office building, and start searching Petfinder, to find our new Campus Pup!

We were spoiled with a Valentines day dinner hosted by FSU and their President, at the beautiful Lakeland Yacht Club. It was very kind of the FSU faculty, administration and staff to give up their Friday to host such a wonderful concluding event.

Friday, February 14, 2014


Rollins College
Winter Park, FL

on the shore of Lake Virginia

Mascot- Tommy the Tar (a sailor)

Campus is always ranked among to "most beautiful campuses" in the yearly "rankings" that dart about the internet and publications. So, I decided I would just take a bunch of photos and have my blog post be more of a photo tour. To be honest, it didn't disappoint. Rollins is a really beautiful place.

Our tour guide Sam ‘14, is a Communications and English minor. She is heading to graduate school next year. She has been accepted into Florida State University and still waiting to hear from Purdue University.

The mascot is appropriately a sailor, and Rollins makes great use being located on of Lake Virginia, with canoes, a little beachfront, multiple boat houses, and this little motorboat!

Rollin's has a ski jumping team... As we are mid-winter-olympics, you might be thinking to yourself, "Lots of instituations have ski jumping teams." But Rollins has a Waterski jumping team.

The photo of the skijump brought me back to all my favorite Muppet moments of Gonzo attempting ski-jumps.

Rollins has an Alfond Pool. The Alfonds are a pretty famous family connected to NMH, and anyone who knows hockey in New England, knows Alfond Arenas. This was the first time I've been in an Alfond Athletic facility where the Ice has been defrosted. 

After seeing several prominent buildings on campus bearing the name Alfond, I started to wonder if perhaps the Alfonds were more connected with Rollins than I had previously understood, so I asked Pres Duncan, and indeed, Ted Alfond is the Vice Chair of the Rollins Board of Trustees, and three of the Alfond boys are alumni. 

Apart from the access to water, the Rollins student body seemed athletic minded, and motivated to be outdoors.  Soccer, golf and tennis were among the most popular sports on campus. 

There was an active greek culture on campus.  It was valentines day, and the Kappa Deltas were giving out kisses. 

One of the most surprising little gems, was this Starbucks cafe on the first floor of the Bush Academic Center. Bush Academic Center (named for some famous Bush's who are connected to Floriday) is also home of the “million dollar classroom” The technology in the classroom is worth over a million dollars. 

I was excited by the way in which Spanish mission architecture is blended with more modern construction on the Rollins campus. Clearly, they have had the fortune of being able to invest on substantial new construction, and the new buildings complement the charm and beauty of the previously existing structures. While I was impressed by many of the campuses I've seen on tour in Florida, Rollins was particularly cohesive and architecturally interesting.  

The moss hanging from the Sycamores, was also something quintessentially southern, that was fun to see on a campus. In the spirit of Valentines day, I bet there have been more than a fair share of kisses shared on this bench!

Gazebos and Yoga on the quad.

Lastly, I was spoiled at Rollins by getting to meet up with an old student and former counselee from Groton School (Emmett). He is connected to NMH as well, in that he is the older brother of my beloved NMH freshmen advisee Muriel!

Thursday, February 13, 2014


of Tampa


Student Name: Victoria

Where are you from? Long Island, NY

What is your major? Forensic Science

What other schools did you look at? I also applied to John Jay, University of New Haven, Hofstra, Adelphi… I applied to 14 colleges.

The University of Tampa is certainly impacted by its location within
Tampa, FL (City of Tampa population 353,840).

The location allows access to hundreds of internships within walking distance:

There are currently students doing internships at such places as:

2 major newspapers Tampa Tribune & Tampa Bay Times
Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Museum of Art
2 major hospitals
Federal Court
Florida Aquarium

If I were to try to use a few words to describe the students and "scene" of the campus it would be
metropolitan, cosmopolitan, and active

Most popular majors:

International Business
Marine Science
Communication/Film and Media Arts

I was impressed by the Non-denominational Center for Faith and Values. It is nice to see a place where students can discuss and explore faith and values, without the expectation of certainty or allegiance to any single world-view. It was even more nice to see such a striking and beautiful building on campus, to focus one's exploration of said faith and values.
They were inordinately proud of their athletic facilities, suggesting, that they have the “best” lacrosse stadium in the world.

I was more surprised by this sign I discovered outside the bleachers that used to be the NY Yankees Spring training bleachers. Babe Ruth actually signed his contract in the Henry Plant Hotel. The bleachers now overlook the varsity soccer field.

The campus began in a similar fashion as Flagler, with a wealthy magnate developing an institute of higher education in order to improve the community and help draw youth and academics to the city.

Henry Plant was the benefactor for U. Tampa, and the Plant Museum still bares his name.


St. Petersburg, FL

Mascot: Tritons

School moto is fitting- THINK OUTSIDE

My visit at Eckerd College is best encapsulated as a collection of amazing moments. I was fortunate to spend four hours on campus, and during that period I found myself surprised, amazed, and impressed in many different ways. Among the highlights...

Taking a rest break on a hammock on Eckerd's very own "South Beach."  There were a lot of amazing experiences that I had in college.  I never got to hang out on my very own campus beach.

The very first tour of a campus I have ever taken on a bike.  I've been on HUNDREDS of college tours. This was the most unique and playful college tour I've been on.  For those colleges out there, wanting to make an immediate impression on the people who are blurry-eyed from tour after tour after tour...don't spend so much time quoting the same boring statistics and walking backwards...actually make your tour memorable.

One of the neatest things about the whole bike thing, was that it wasn't just a game.  Eckerd has invested on making the campus an enjoyable place to take a yellow beach cruiser for a ride.  The yellow bike guy is present to give yellow bikes to any student in need of a trip around campus on a yellow bike.  Authentic enjoyment of the surroundings, and the outdoors was abound on this campus.

The campus has its own thrift store!  Allison was manning the store when we arrived.  She is class of 2016, and is from Redbank, NJ.  It wasn't just that there was a thrift store on campus, run by students.  I was that the thrift store proceeds go to a farm in Puerto Rico where many Eckerd students volunteer each year.  

Seeing students happily engaged in a responsible manner to reduce waste, that has a positive net impact on the lives of others, is the sort of sustainability that I get most excited about.  Students want to go to thrift stores to get inexpensive items they like.  Doing that in a systematic way that benefits the campus, and a farm in a foreign land that provides a close, but off campus experience studying abroad, made me super happy.

It was amazing to watch students take the school kayaks and paddle boards out for a lunchtime paddle. The phrase "lunchtime-paddle" is a phrase that I wish everyone had access to on a daily basis.



The dorms were another amazing highlight.  Waterfront property is a dream for me as an adult.  I cannot imagine having it available to me on a daily basis as a student.

An incredible moment was standing on the balcony and seeing a dolphin leaping out of the water, only a few yards away. 

It was also nice to see campus sustainability done in a way that felt honest and authentic.  Composting bins were available everywhere, and are used in enriching the soils for the on campus gardens.

 There was also a solar collector on campus.  For a campus that receives so much sun, it was nice to see campus facilities devoting to making practical use of this renewable resource. 

It was also nice to see a campus that embraced any and all forms of engaging the outdoors.  In so many places, Skateboarding is seen as a campus plague. Eckerd proactively attempts to harness the students on campus as a resource, to create a healthy skateboarding culture, respectful of facilities but exciting about riding. 
It was also fun to learn about Eckerd's "autumn term"  For three weeks in the freshman fall, they engage new students in an orientation program.  This kind of long term intensive commitment to ensuring the best possible transition to a new environment, is the kind of Residential Life experience that I personally believe has dramatic effects upon long term retention and success of students.  

Even the signage at Eckerd made me smile.  This reference to Hubbard made me miss the girls back home in Hubbard Dorm (where I am a dorm head, and where I'll be in only three days time)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


DAY FIVE - A little impromptu meetup with the family.

Day five of the tour was great.  We went out to see a couple of the smaller schools on the tour.  Both were great, but less of a fit for the students I work with.  We happened to be in the backyard of the area that my Grandmother lives in, so they showed up to meet me on tour.  I took the opportunity to have an early dinner with my Grandma, and my mom and dad who had sneaked down to Florida for a mini vacation.  We went out to a nice early-bird dinner, and I hopped back on the tour-bus.

My dad was rocking his 2013 Batty Roundball Classic Teeshirt.  I love that he still has the Hogger Pride after all these years.

Tomorrow - Eckerd!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Lynn University

Boca Raton, FL

Lynn University is a defined
campus of 125 acres and
6 on campus lakes.

Mascot: Big LU
The Fighting Knights

One of the primary missions of Lynn, as stressed by the admission staff,  is to support each and every student accepted into Lynn University, to ensure the highest probability of their success at Lynn.  Lynn is internationally recognized for being ahead of the curve in terms of providing learning support on campus. 25% of students enrolled at Lynn have some sort of documented learning difference and receive the support they need to be successful through The Institute for Achievement and Learning. 

Current Students: 

Will ‘17 Lexington, MA  Major: Marketing

Ally ‘17 Wrentham, MA Major: Fashion Marketing

Ally and Will spent a half an hour with me and two other counselors from schools in Massachusetts sharing stories about their first year experience at Lynn. It is safe to share, they are both overjoyed with their decision to attend Lynn and have no regrets, they certainly were not missing the current temperatures in Massachusetts.

I also got to meet Jason ‘15 Soccer captain of the Lynn Men’s NCAA Division II Championship Soccer team. Jason is from London and is a Liverpool fan!  

Lynn University also had the pleasure of introducing us to their 
President, Dr. Kevin Ross. President Ross is the eventual successor of his father who was founder and president of Lynn University for 35 years. President Ross is described at “progressive and pragmatic. His enthusiasm, love, and confidence in Lynn’s future was obvious.

We enjoyed dinner on the stage on the World Performing Arts Center Stage. My chair was just feet away from where Barack Obama and Mitt Romney held their 3rd and final debate in October of 2012 . More than 250 Lynn University students won seats through a lottery or volunteered as an usher at the historic event.

I was struck by the serious nature and beauty of a Memorial in the center of campus, honoring 4 students and 2 professors who were killed while volunteering in a Haitian orphanage during the earthquake in 2010. 

The entire community gathers each year on the anniversary of the earthquake for a day of service. 

The monument is powerful and brought many goosebumps on the warm sunny Florida afternoon.

By the end of a great visit to Lynn though, I must admit, that as I lounged in a hammock on campus, I did find myself wondering if I really needed to go to college in Maine, in order to enjoy the water.