Campus Sneak Preview Days

Would-be freshmen and their parents often fear getting lost on the large University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. So, the Office of Admissions sets out to make sure sons and daughters, moms and dads, even grandparents, can experience friendliness and helpfulness on the campus. Thus, when one family participating in this summer’s Campus Sneak Preview Days couldn’t find their way from the Molecular and Cellular Biology building to Nicholson Hall, UMRA volunteer and President-elect Julie Sweitzer personally walked the family across campus.

That story is one indication of the Sneak Preview program’s success. Numbers are another. This year, more than 2,200 visitors, including 850 prospective students, attended one of the six sessions. 

Sneak Preview Days have been happening at the University for many years. Admissions staff provide in-person tours, which include a general information session highlighting academics, campus life, student resources, and the admissions process. 

This year, adding 18 UMRA Silver Gopher Service Corps volunteers put a new twist on the welcome. Who better to provide a friendly greeting and lend a helping hand than those of us who have spent our careers at the University?

“I think they really enjoyed meeting someone who was enthusiastic and positive about the U,” Silver Gopher volunteer Nanette Hanks said. 

The Silver Gopher volunteers greeted participants and gave directions. Shannon Anderson, Minnesota Freshman Admission Counselor, worked closely with University Retirees Volunteer Center leaders Jerry Rinehart and Deanne Magnusson to recruit and organize the volunteers’ participation. “The Silver Gopher Service Corps volunteers did more than fill in the gaps. They added value,” Anderson said.

Silver Gopher volunteer opportunities this fall will include U of M Welcome Week, food packaging for underserved youth, and landscape and pollinator restoration projects in the area. Go to urvc.umn.edu to learn more and register to receive information related to your areas of interest.

—Peggy Mann Rinehart



The election of UMRA officers and new board members for 2024–25 will be conducted via an online poll from May 13 to 19, with the results to be announced at our annual meeting on May 21. Look for the ballot in your email inbox on May 13. Diane Young has been nominated to be president-elect.