Sommer Hamilton '04, June 1st, 2006
Mays brought its topÂ administrators and recruitersÂ to prospective students’ neighborhoods this spring for receptions to recruit top students to Mays.
Dean Jerry Strawser personally greeted every student who attended receptions hosted by Mays former students in their homes and at bank meeting rooms in Houston, Dallas, McAllen and Laredo. The receptions, for students who had been accepted but had not yet confirmed their admission to Texas A&M, targeted the highest-achieving and most underrepresented students and their parents.
Overall, 62 percent of the 127 students invited to the small gatherings confirmed their intent to enroll in A&M’s business programs for the fall 2006 semester. Students mingled with Strawser, Undergraduate Recruiter Sonia Garcia and Business Honors Program Director Kris Morley. In McAllen, all 27 students confirmed their desire to make Mays their educational home for the next four years.
“Recruitment research shows that personal contact matters, and thus, we wanted these receptions to be small and intimate in nature,” Garcia said. “These receptions gave students and parents the opportunity to get to know us in a different light, and they also gave us the opportunity to entertain their questions about Mays and Texas A&M. We see the value of going to students in their hometowns and helping them realize how important they are to us.”
The events also put students and parents in touch with successful graduates and their stories:
- Jerry Cox ’72, an entrepreneur in oil and gas exploration, and his wife Kay ’02 hosted 34 students and their parents.
- David Van Houten ’71, a retired executive vice president of Coca-Cola Enterprises, hosted a reception for 41 students along with his wife Carol.
- Ford Sasser III ’76, CEO of Rio Bank in McAllen, opened the doors of his bank to 27 students.
- Melissa Cigarroa ’78, senior vice president of Laredo National Bank, invited 25 students to her bank.
In other recruiting efforts, Strawser and 20 members of his advisory council called more than 270 students, from National Merit Semi-Finalists to first-generation college students, to answer questions and share stories about Mays. More than 68 percent of those contacted by phone committed to attend A&M.