MACOMB/50, IL – You’ve heard the saying ‘it takes a village to raise a child.’ In the days of increased competition, limited resources and other challenges facing public higher education, that same sentiment applies to recruitment and enrollment initiatives… it takes the whole University, the “village,” working together to recruit future students. Along those lines, the 5 Foundation recently partnered with WIU Undergraduate Admissions to assist with recruitment efforts.

Abbie Pendarvis, director of donor relations, was thinking about how the Foundation could help the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, when she approached Tim Hallinan, director of annual giving, and Katy Gorsuch, associate director of admissions, with an idea. Pendarvis proposed that the Foundation’s alumni engagement student employees work with admissions to text admitted students who still needed to complete next steps. The Foundation paid the salaries for the students to step outside of their usual fundraising roles one evening in December, as well as for the text messaging rates. Gorsuch and Admissions Director Doug Freed were on hand to answer questions that came up in real time.

“We were more than happy to partner with Undergraduate Admissions. The Foundation and Admissions are examples of two different University departments working together for the greater good,” said Tim Hallinan, director of annual giving. “Recruitment is everyone’s responsibility.”

Western Illinois University Admissions, Foundation Partner for Enrollment Initiatives

Gorsuch added that Undergraduate Admissions is happy to partner across the University to assist with its ongoing efforts.

“Our staff is on the road, on the phones, on email, giving tours, hosting events and much more every day, and often during the evenings and weekends as well. We truly appreciate collaborating with faculty and staff from a variety of departments, as well as our alumni and current students, to share the wonderful things we offer at WIU and why our University is a great choice for prospective students,” she said. “Gone are the days when recruitment was the sole responsibility of an admissions office and its staff. With social media and so much technology at our fingertips that provide a barrage of information to prospective students, having people who teach, work, live and learn at an institution is crucial to our outreach efforts. Even attending our Discover Western pre-event socials, mingling and talking with students and their families, really showcases the personal touch that WIU provides its students.”

Faculty, staff, students and alumni interested in volunteering with Undergraduate Admissions should contact Gorsuch at KL-Gorsuch@wiu.edu.

Western Illinois University Admissions, Foundation Partner for Enrollment Initiatives
Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.
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