Wesleyan Student Involvement Sparks Creation of a Virtual Campus Tour

Monday, October 15th, 2012

Choosing a college can be a hard decision, especially when your college of interest is a day’s drive away.  It is difficult to miss school, work, social events, and life in general to drive eight hours for an hour tour of a college.  That is why when senior Justin Frye had the idea to create a virtual campus tour of West Virginia Wesleyan, his enthusiasm for the betterment of the College could not be denied.

“I had been on other schools’ websites and saw they had virtual tours, and I wondered why we didn’t have one,” states Frye.  “With students coming from eight and nine hours away, it’s hard for them to want to visit a campus they have never even seen.  The virtual tour will allow those students to get a first-time glimpse of our campus, and that may entice them to visit in person.  Plus, I love Wesleyan, and I really wanted to show off our campus.”

With the help of New Perspective of Pittsburgh, Wesleyan will launch its first online tour of campus to be hosted on the school’s website.  This online view of Wesleyan is the perfect opportunity for prospective students who otherwise could not visit campus to do so from the privacy of their own homes.  With audio and video prompts at locations such as the Wellness Center, The Virginia Thomas Law Center for the Performing Arts, and the David E. Reemsnyder Research Center, and information hubs for the many other stops on campus, this interactive look at Wesleyan is a vital tool not only for the recruitment of students, but also in maintaining alumni ties to the school.

“Our alumni enjoy utilizing the latest technology and will find the virtual tour informative, as they can see what is new on campus in addition to those places that were special to them when they were students,” notes Kristi Wilkerson, director of alumni relations.  “Alumni can show others the virtual tour as they assist with student recruitment, especially with legacy students (children of alumni), too.”

However, the virtual tour is more a testimony to the level of investment that Wesleyan students have in their school.  Not only is Frye the catalyst for the virtual tour project, but he also assisted in gathering data, writing copy, and appearing on-screen as a talent in the project, along with junior Kim Stephens.  His active role proved very fundamental in getting the project off the ground.

“When Justin came to us with the idea for a virtual tour, we were very excited,” states John Waltz, director of admission.  “At Wesleyan, we always greet student ideas with enthusiasm. We had been looking for ways to cater to International students who can’t make a visit while also enhancing online content to entice more in-state and out-of-state campus visitors; this concept matched our goals perfectly.  I’m proud to say that Justin has been involved from beginning to end in seeing this important project become a reality.”

Frye is excited in having a hand in this project, as well.

“Seeing my idea come to fruition was amazing.  I never imagined this would turn out to be such an elaborate and impressive project.  Working on camera definitely put me out of my comfort zone, but it was a lot of fun.  Kim and I had a great time, and hopefully our collaboration will make the virtual tour more personable for the viewer.  It will allow prospective students to see themselves as a Wesleyan student.”

The tour is set to go live on Wesleyan’s website on Monday, October 15, and Frye is thrilled that it is complete.

“I’m really grateful the Admission staff received my idea so well and turned it into a great project,” comments Frye.  “I’m so appreciative for John’s willingness to get it out so fast, and I know this will make a difference for Wesleyan.”

To view the virtual tour http://www.wvwc.edu/admission/tour/