The tour began on Old Campus, where all of the freshmen are housed. Students saw the freshman haunts of yours truly and rubbed the bronze shoe on the statue of former Yale president Theodore Dwight Woolsey, which is supposed to provide students and visitors alike with good luck and, according to some, admission into the university.
You don’t need to attend the school to check out its libraries and museums though, as we were able to walk through the recently renovated Sterling Memorial Library, home of one of the largest collections of books found anywhere. Next, we walked over to the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, where the students were able to look at the original—and very colorful—sketches of Audubon as well as a Gutenberg Bible.
We grabbed some frozen yogurt at a nearby shop before walking through the courtyard, dining hall, and recreation area of Berkeley College, one of the university’s 12 residential colleges. We stopped to work off the froyo in the Berkeley basketball court, where four balls were laying out, almost as if they were expecting us.
In the afternoon, we ate lunch at a local pizza place, where we were able to relax, unwind, and reflect on life at college. The students were brimming with questions, with several wanting a detailed list of what they had to do in high school to get into Yale.
Before heading back to Newark, we looked at two other residential colleges (each has its own distinctive architecture) and toured the Yale Art Gallery. Though tired from a full day on campus, the students left the excursion grateful for the opportunity. None had toured a college before, and each seemed more motivated to go to college in the future—visiting the campus had turned the abstract idea of someday heading off to college into something they could visualize.