June 24, 2014
Taking Care of Business, Cornish Style
: Imani Woodley, Elena Joyner, and Jason Baker meet over lunch. Photo by Mark Bocek.
: Sara Ball "steers the boat" toward the Seattle skyline featuring the Space Needle. Photo by Leah Webster.
: Cornish President Nancy Uscher chats with Amina Blyden and family on the Lady Mary. Photo by Leah Webster.
: Cruisin': VP for Enrollment Management Jonathan Lindsay (r3, center) with Admission staffers Craig Snyder (next to him); (r2, l to r) Emily Gewax and Director of Admission Sharron Starling; and (r1) Tazlyn Gue and Randy Wood. Photo by Leah Webster.
: Jonathan Lindsay addresses students, family, and friends in a Cornish studio. Photo by Mark Bocek.
: Samantha Canela, with button, alongside Imani Woodley. Photo by Mark Bocek.
: Lindsey Moore and mom in front of Cornish swag. Photo by Mark Bocek.
: Miranda Chantelois and mother make a statement in the photo booth. Photo by Mark Bocek.
: Amina Blyden and family at the Cornish Main Campus. Photo by Mark Bocek.
Registration is largely by mail this year, but there are still a few things students need to iron out; that’s what Taking Care of Business Day is all about.
Taking Care of Business (and Having Some Fun) Day dawned as the kind of day that is a well-kept secret in Seattle: cloudless, warm, and sunny. The new students mixed business with pleasure as they were welcomed to the College, took tours, worked out registration and financial aid details, all interspersed with eating, meeting new friends, making buttons, listening to music, mural painting, and more. In the evening, this first contingent of incoming students was rewarded with a fantastic cruise that left from Lake Union — near the Cornish Main Campus — and motored out through the Montlake Cut and onto sparkling Lake Washington.
New students: more business can be taken care of on a second TCOB :Day on July 18 — check your email for details.
First thing after sign-in, incoming students and their ride-alongs — parents, grandparents, and friends — gathered in a large studio to hear the College’s president, Dr. Nancy J. Uscher, welcome them to Cornish. This was enough to wow one transfer student, Imani Woodley, studying theater. “When I was at [———-], we never saw the president,” she said, “I heard his name a couple of times.” Jonathan Lindsay, vice president for enrollment management, dusted off an old Bachman-Turner Overdrive tune “Taking Care of Business,” to reinforce the day’s theme, followed by Director of Admission Sharron Starling sending everyone off to actually take care of business.
At lunch, new students were eager to talk about Cornish. Elena Joyner, studying theater, will be crossing the country from Boston, a city with its fair share of renowned institutions of higher learning. “Honestly, I felt like Cornish was a good school because it’s small, and I really like that aspect of it,” she said. “It seems like it’s really focused on creating an individual, on having people as artists come and be the best artist that they, individually, can be.”
On this day, one aspect of a smaller college was very clear to Elena. “Everyone’s been so welcoming and wonderful here,” she went on. “It’s not like old institutions where everyone is a number — and the fact that I can recognize the president!”
Andrew Terrell, an art student from the Seattle area, sounded a theme about Cornish that was repeated throughout the day. “They value interdisciplinary practice a lot more than a lot of other art schools,” he said. “A lot of what I want to do doesn’t fall into one specific area … like painting or sculpture.”
Andrew’s mom, Hillary Stibbard, expressed her happiness that Andrew could attend a nearby school but live away from home. “I’m really glad that there’s a residence hall program,” she said. “I was worried about him that if he went local, he wasn’t going to get out, into a college.”
Incoming design freshman Amina Blyden, like Andrew, was attracted to the varied opportunities at Cornish. She is an artist and a violinist and likes the idea of studying design around a bunch of musicians. “I’m hoping to play at Cornish and around the city and get involved in both music and the arts.” Amina traveled from Auburn, Washington, with a full contingent: her mom and her brother, along with her grandmother from D.C.
Dancer Miranda Chantelois simply felt at home at Cornish. “I went to Seattle Academy, and they really valued the arts and the instruction,” she said, “and the type of people who go there really reminded me of Cornish.”
The climax to the fun part of the day was without a doubt the boat cruise. “There is nothing,” wrote Kenneth Graham in The Wind in the Willows, “half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” On the boat was dinner, dancing, chatting, and, of course, gorgeous scenery sliding by.
The boat trip was the capper of a great day, according to Sara Ball. “I was already excited. I’m more excited now,” she said, lounging in a deckchair on the fantail of the Lady Mary. “I went and bought all my Cornish swag: the Cornish yoga pants and the tee-shirt and the stickers, even though I don’t have any windows to put them on. I’m so excited. And I got to figure out all my financial aid in one day.”
The Admissions staff hit a home run with Taking Care of Business Day. “They’ve been so nice, Sara continued. “And soon as I said, ‘Oh, I’m feeling a little out of place,’ they’re like, ‘Here! Meet this person … Meet this person …’ I’ve been introduced to everybody around here. Everybody’s been super helpful.”
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