Wilmington College earns national award for admission success

By Randy Sarvis - Wilmington College

WILMINGTON — Wilmington College garnered national recognition for the enrollment success it enjoyed in the 2018-19 academic year.

The College took home the national runner-up trophy and $1,000 award in a competition of colleges and universities working with Hobsons, a leader in educational technology that works with schools in fostering student success.

The Education Advances Award represented excellence in the “Match & Fit Admission” category of awards presented at Hobsons Summer Institute in Marco Island, Fla.

Wilmington College brought in its largest cohort of freshmen in the institution’s 148-year history, in addition to a record entering class when accounting for both freshmen and transfer students. In addition, the school’s overall enrollment at its main campus in Wilmington eclipsed 1,100 for the first time since 2007, the eve of the national recession.

WC’s Dennis M. Kelly, senior vice president/chief enrollment officer, was a presenter at the Hobsons Summer Institute, which also was attended by Adam Lohrey, director of admission, and Danny Harp, associate director of admission.

Kelly said earning such a prestigious award was “absolutely humbling” especially when considering the number of nationally known, flagship universities in attendance like Rutgers, Georgia, Colorado, Clemson and Johns Hopkins.

“I was happy to see my colleagues, Adam and Danny, recognized on a national stage,” Kelly said. “While walking through the hotel lobby the next day, one of the Hobsons people came up to me and said, ‘How does it feel to be the top college in the nation?’

“This was a good day for Wilmington College!”

Indeed, Stony Brook University, an institution with 26,000 students in New York, won the competition, while Caldwell University in New Jersey rounded out the top three awardees in WC’s category.

Lohrey credited his veteran admission staff for bringing in the record entering class last fall.

“They are committed to the College’s enrollment success,” he said. “Throughout last spring and summer, as the numbers got closer and closer to the records for both a freshman and entering class at Wilmington College, the staff was determined we were going to break the record.

“The entire College can bask in the glow of this recognition because, in addition to the admission staff, literally every area of the College played a role in our enrollment success,” he added. “From coaches and faculty recruiting and meeting with students and families, to administrative offices doing their jobs so well, students serving as ambassadors and our physical plant and housekeeping staffs helping to make the College an attractive, functioning environment that’s conducive to student living and learning.”

Harp echoed those sentiments in stating the department runs like a well-oiled machine with its eyes on the prize.

Setting enrollment numbers is a great thing to do, but even more important than the records is what it means for the success of the College, and the life-transforming impact it’s having on our students,” he said.

The enrollment management staff donated the $1,000 award to the College’s Helping Hands and Professional Development funds.


By Randy Sarvis

Wilmington College