New Student Recruitment Center Offers Prospective Students a High-Tech View of UB

By Sue Wuetcher

Release Date: December 19, 2003 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Prospective students now have the opportunity to learn about the University at Buffalo and at the same time the cutting-edge technology available at the university with the opening of the new Student Recruitment Center in the lobby of Capen Hall on the North (Amherst) Campus.

The glass-enclosed center, carved out of the northwest corner of the lobby, is the new site for the Visit UB program operated by the Office of Admissions. The program, which accommodated more than 2,700 prospective students last year, provides those students and their parents, as well as high school counselors, with an overview of the myriad opportunities available to students who attend UB. The center also is the starting point for campus tours.

The center, designed by Cheryl Bailey, associate space planner/designer in the Office of the Provost, features a presentation room with technology "designed for today and tomorrow," says Patricia Armstrong, director of admissions. The room can change with a touch of the screen on the podium at the front of the room: Shades can be lowered or raised on the windows, a projector can be lowered from the ceiling, lighting can be adjusted and a projection screen can be lowered at the front of the room. The room features high-quality surround sound, has DVD, CD and video capabilities, and can accommodate PowerPoint presentations. There also is Internet connectivity.

The daily group-information sessions held in the room typically feature a PowerPoint presentation that touches on all aspects of the university and tries to answer the most common questions that prospective students may have about such topics as academics, student life and financial aid. Visitors also receive a tour of campus from UB student guides.

"This new high-tech facility offers us the opportunity to showcase the technology that's available at UB," says Armstrong, noting that while in the past admissions presentations to prospective students talked about the cutting-edge technology available at the university, the new center allows those students to see it firsthand. Outside the presentation room is a reception area where prospective students and their parents can sit at a computer screen and print out detailed information on the various majors and degree programs available at UB.

The center's location in the Capen lobby is ideal, Armstrong says. "It's in the center of a hub of student activity," she points out. "When (prospective students) arrive on campus, they see a lot of activity -- students going to class and socializing. It engages the visitors and helps them visualize themselves as students here."

Moreover, it's a short walk from the visitors' parking lot. "It's easy to get to; visitors can come right in" from the parking lot, she adds.

The Visit UB program's former home in 15 Capen was adequate, but the new center really "creates such a wonderful impression for visitors," adds Frances Bernstein, associate director of admissions.

The glass walls were designed to let natural light into the lobby, Bernstein says, and locating the Student Recruitment Center in the corner of the lobby -- while removing the old concrete information kiosk from the center of the lobby -- "improves the flow of traffic in the lobby."