Admissions reimagines the Lion Pride Preview experience


Brynn Lundy/The Lion’s Roar

When students arrive on campus and check in at the Student Union for a Destination Southeastern event, they receive name cards and other university memorabilia. Two potential Lions display their new university merchandise and “Lion Up.”

The Fall 2020 semester is seeing a reimagined version of what is usually known as Lion Pride Preview, a day when potential future Lions visit campus to learn about the academic programs, admissions process and campus life.

Due to social limitations, the event has been broken down into smaller pieces to allow prospective students and their guests to continue connecting with the university both in person and virtually.

Destination Southeastern is one of the substitutions for the typical Lion Pride Preview event. While the preview day usually brings nearly 1500 people to campus, registration for Destination Southeastern events is limited to 150 people per event to account for admissions staff, prospective students and one guest per student.

Amanda Hammonds, assistant director of orientation and events, explained what the shorter event entails.

“These Destination Southeasterns are more of an overview of admissions and the application process and the financial aid process,” said Hammonds. “They’re very broad and general, a very nice overview. While they’re on campus, we do give them a tour of campus and a tour of housing. Then, they have an opportunity to visit our bookstore and eat on campus. It’s a great opportunity. Also, they can apply while they’re here. We do have an application station.”

In addition to spaced-out seating in the Student Union Ballroom, Destination Southeastern has a contactless check-in for students and guests to abide by health and safety regulations. Check in is from 5-6 p.m., and the 30-minute presentation by the admissions staff begins at 6 p.m. The next Destination Southeastern is on Thursday, Oct. 22.

“We have a mobile check-in for every student who has registered for these events,” said Hammonds. “They’ll get a text message when they’re within a certain area of campus. It’ll say ‘Welcome to Southeastern. We’re so excited to have you here. Click this link to check-in.’ They’ll click that link, and basically it’ll say ‘Success. You’ve been checked into this event.’”

Academic Discovery Sessions are another set of events in addition to Destination Southeastern. According to Hammonds, students who register for one of the 12 Academic Discovery Sessions this semester will be able to head to campus to hear from the faculty, staff and the dean of whichever college their major of interest is in, as well as to tour the department’s facility and learn about the programs.

“This is really a piece of Lion Pride Preview,” said Hammonds. “In the past, there was a section of Lion Pride Preview called Academic Discovery, and it was really just a great session where we would just break off students and guests to the student’s academic major.”

The first Academic Discovery session of the semester is with the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences on Friday, Oct. 16 at 1 p.m. on campus. Sessions will be on Fridays at 1 p.m. and Saturdays at 9 a.m. from Oct. 16 to Dec. 12. Students can register and view the schedule on the Admissions webpage.

A third option that interested students can utilize is the webinars that the Office of Admissions have available on the website. The “Find Your Roar” webinar series allows students to choose which webinars they wish to attend, from Admissions and Financial Aid to Housing and Student Engagement.

“This is something that students can partake in without even coming to campus that they can do when they get home and that their parents can partake in, and they can really participate,” explained Hammonds. “There is no limit at a virtual event. All of those are virtually, and students can find that information at”

Students can also interact with faculty and staff through virtual avenues also available on the Admissions website. The virtual schedule can be found there as well. Students can meet with a recruiter, an Admissions counselor or other Admissions staff through these online events.

“This is a great opportunity,” expressed Hammonds. “Even though a pandemic is not something that we planned for, we’re going to challenge ourselves to think more creatively. It’s almost like we’re getting the opportunity to do something that we can now do all the time. Students can interact with us virtually if they go to”

Juanesha Davis, a senior social work major, works as an event specialist for the university. She shared that she was able to fully participate in Lion Pride Preview days in past semesters as both an event specialist and a campus tour guide.

“Although we have not been able to put on events that are typically at maximum capacity, we have worked very hard to provide a sense of normalcy to this semester,” said Davis. “However, the events that were approved do change the roles of event specialists and tour guides slightly, but not much. The current events have become more personal, allowing event specialists to fully engage and share their experiences with one family.”