On the

Restructuring Alumni Admissions

The Alumni Admissions program, which currently involves more than 950 alumni volunteers, intends to revise its present structure under the direction of Michelle C. Fox, associate director of admissions. The goal, says Fox, is to transform the program from a reactive to a proactive program that provides quality contact between alumni representatives and prospective students and their parents. This will allow Admissions Office staff to focus their efforts on augmenting on campus recruiting events.

Alumni liaisons play an important role in the admissions process, by visiting guidance counselors and teachers, and by attending career nights and college fairs in their local areas. They also serve as a resource for students interested in WPI and provide personal contact with accepted students.

A strategic plan is being developed with input from current volunteers and other alumni. Processes for the selection and training of volunteers are being assessed, as is the opportunity to introduce new informational tools, such as CD-ROMs and videotapes, to increase familiarity with WPI. Fox says that the regional club program and the class boards of directors may also play a role in the admissions effort by sponsoring events and reaching out to prospective students.

"You have a powerful message to send," Fox told members of the Alumni Council, who were asked to provide feedback on the proposed changes at their Feb. 24 meeting. "You can help students and their parents evaluate the benefit of a WPI education from a career perspective and discuss how the WPI Plan helps you on the job. As a successful engineer with a good company, you show that somebody else values your education."

Tuition increase

Undergraduate tuition and fees will be $18,060 for the 1996-97 academic year. Members of the Board of Trustees approved the 5.24 percent increase at their winter meeting. The cost of room and board for a typical WPI freshman increased a similar percentage to $5,940, bringing the official cost of attending WPI to $25,520,.

"Tuition revenue pays for most of the cost of operating the university and maintaining our academic programs," said President Edward A. Parrish in a letter to the parents of all current undergraduates. "This percentage is similar to, if not lower than, those announced by many other technological universities, and our tuition remains more affordable than those charged by the majority of our competitors. And for many of our students, financial aid, including more than $1 million in merit-based scholarships that WPI will make available to entering freshmen for the first time next year, will make the cost of attending the Institute even more affordable."

In his letter, Parrish pointed out some of the ways the university uses tuition dollars, as well as funds from other sources, to make WPI an outstanding place. "This summer alone, we will spend nearly $7 million to improve our campus facilities," he said.

"The cost of attending an outstanding university like WPI is high, but that cost buys the outstanding programs, facilities and services that make WPI one of the finest private universities in the nation," said Parrish, who stressed the Institute’s commitment to continuing "to build on that excellence to assure that our students receive the best preparation possible for rewarding careers and lives."

Fellman dies, gave WPI Dickens Collection

Robert D. Fellman, 72, of Palo Alto, Calif., died Feb. 26. He was an internationally recognized authority on novelist Charles Dickens.

Joel J. Brattin, associate professor of English, was instrumental in arranging for Fellman's extensive Dickens collection to be permanently housed in Gordon Library. The collection, which includes hundreds of volumes by and about Charles Dickens, first editions, autograph letters, art objects, slides and videotapes, will ultimately be housed in a special room in the library.

Fellman was a retired professor of chemistry at Foothill College, and a former president of the Palo Alto branch of the Dickens Fellowship. He is survived by a sister, Lois Higinbotham of Red Lake Falls, Minn., and by his lifelong companion, Jerry Rice of Palo Alto. Funeral services were private. Remembrances may be made to the Robert D. Fellman Dickens Collection at WPI, c/o University Relations. Articles about Fellman's gift appeared in the Summer 1995 issue of the WPI Journal and the Fall 1995 issue of Quest.

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Last modified: Thu Jun 10 10:50:04 EDT 1999