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Days on the Lawn welcomes newly admitted Class of 2027 to explore U.Va.

The University’s second in-person DOTL following the pandemic offers four specialized days of programming

The next DOTL event will be held April 17 and the final day is April 22.
The next DOTL event will be held April 17 and the final day is April 22.

Newly admitted students to the Class of 2027 can explore the sunny corners of Grounds this month by participating in Days on the Lawn, which allows admitted students to experience life at the University. This DOTL will feature school-specific events across four days, as opposed to last year’s programming with six days open to all students. 

DOTL began April 1 with an invitation for students who were admitted to the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Activities. Prospective students of the School of Architecture, School of Nursing, Kinesiology Program, College Science Scholars and Echols Scholars were welcomed April 10, while all newly-admitted students have the option to attend the April 22 events. Programming across all days includes events such as open houses, tours of Grounds and resource fairs.

Kelli Barnette, associate dean of admission for guest services and community development, said the Virginia Ambassadors and Office of Admission made the change to host a smaller number of school-specific days to “meet the needs of admitted students and ease the burden on smaller schools.” Barnette said that she had already received positive feedback from the Engineering Open House.

“The number of Days on the Lawn dates maximizes our use of resources at each event and allows us to offer programs that are specific to students’ academic interests,” Barnette said. 

Additionally, two April 17 events — “Spring Fling” and “Spring Blast” — offer students an opportunity to learn about the experiences of Black and African American students and resources for Hispanic and Latinx students, respectively. 

To accommodate for fewer days of DOTL, admissions has offered other in-person admitted student events and virtual programming, according to Barnette. 

This DOTL features the second year of in-person events following cancellations in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Olivia Wilkinson, co-chair of DOTL and third-year College student, said the series of events are aimed to bring back the in-person experience and connection lost during virtual events offered during the pandemic. 

“I want admitted students to have the best possible experience and have them and their families feel incredibly welcomed,” Wilkinson said. “We are so fortunate to have amazing volunteers and team leaders who are involved in Days on the Lawn and they're always so kind and excited to share their experiences with the admitted students.”

Other current volunteers who experienced in-person DOTL programming reported similarly engaging experiences. Emilia Cuevas, co-chair of DOTL and fourth-year Education student, said she participated in DOTL as a high school student in 2019 and the event had “convinced [her] to come to U.Va.”

“I remember being able to feel the love that everyone had for U.Va. and how excited everyone was to be there,” Cuevas said. “I could really feel that the U.Va. students that were on Grounds were really grateful and excited to be there.”

Some current students who were unable to attend in-person programming said they were especially motivated to provide a welcoming environment for the incoming Class of 2027. As an out-of-state applicant, Zachary Hallock-Diaz, DOTL volunteer and third-year College student, said he did not know many students from his area that go to the University. Additionally, his first year on-Grounds was spent in lockdown due to the pandemic and he could not fully experience life at the University.

“I wanted to make sure that these admitted students can hear a lot about the U.Va. experience, and really get to know a little bit more about the University when they come in,” Hallock said. “And it's also a great opportunity for especially out-of-state students to meet some other people who are a part of their incoming class, who they might be friends with once they arrive here.”

Clemens Knebel, volunteer for DOTL and second-year College student, said because of the pandemic, he was also not able to participate in DOTL but sees the event as crucial to helping admitted students choose their destination.

“Every time I came to Grounds, it was just me and my dad walking around by ourselves,” Knebel said. “So I think that [DOTL is] really important for people to get input so that they can make the best decision about what they want.”

Incoming College student Sarah Dunn said that only having one date for Days on the Lawn was not too inconvenient since she lives in-state and can drive to U.Va. for the day. Dunn has already committed to the University but said she is excited to explore the University beyond what she’s seen from admissions tours.

“I definitely want to see the buildings and whatnot where I would be taking actual classes because that's probably the one thing I haven't really gotten a chance to see,” Dunn said.

The next DOTL event will be held April 17 and the final day is April 22. 

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