2023 College Trip: Days 2 & 3

November 16, 2023
Brian Estrada
Director of College Counseling

We visited Davidson College, University of North-Carolina-Charlotte, Guilford College, and Furman University today.  At Davidson, students met Nika Arnold '20 who spoke of the close alignment between Davidson College and Canterbury School as places that emphasize a high academic atmosphere, close relationships with faculty, and a strong culture around honor and integrity.  Davidson's charming village location on the edge of a large recreational lake area near Charlotte (and its airport) also impressed. We also had a quick tour of the bustling 30,000-student University of North Carolina-Charlotte campus.

Other students visited Guilford College, part of Colleges that Change Lives and the only Quaker-founded college in the southeast.  (Another Quaker institution, Earlham College, is in Indiana).  The 350-acre campus on the edge of Greensboro was notably beautiful.  Speaking of beauty, Furman University in Greenville left a terrific impression on the students, who enjoyed lunch in the college's beautiful dining hall overlooking the campus's very own lake.  The Furman Advantage, guaranteeing all Furman students access to high impact learning experiences before graduation, is supported by a $52 million grant from The Duke Endowment and is a strong signal of the resources Furman offers to its students.

The day ended at Clemson University, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains.  As one of the southeast's most spirited campuses, students sensed the excitement as soon as we got off the bus (helped by stops at Clemson spirit shops).  We met with Miriam Dixon '21 and students got a close look at performing and visual arts opportunities at Clemson.  Students had in-depth tours of the theatre and visual arts departments, and attended either a theatre performance or a choir concert.  At the same time, Clemson's emphasis on engineering, technology, and life sciences disciplines could not be missed.

Today we woke up in upstate South Carolina and passed through the Great Smoky Mountains into Tennessee, but not before first visiting University of North Carolina-Asheville (Bus A) and Wofford College (Bus B). UNC-Asheville is part of the Council of Public Liberal Arts College (COPLAC), a consortium of 30 colleges in 28 states consisting of public institutions that have received designation from their states as campuses committed to a liberal arts or honors college academic mission.  A commitment to both a traditional and modern ways of studying the arts was evident at UNC-Asheville, which offers majors such as Digital Arts, Music Technology, and New Media in addition to strong programs in the traditional liberal arts disciplines.

Wofford College is a very well-resourced private college with spectacular facilities and faculty support for its 1,800 students.  At that enrollment, it is one of the smallest Division I athletic colleges and it enjoys a longstanding athletic rivalry with nearby Furman University.  We were all impressed with the junior and senior housing, which is modeled in a Charlestonian style of bright colored facades and welcoming porches.  It is easy to see why over 90% of students live on campus at Wofford for all four years.

After passing through the Smokies, we pulled into Knoxville and the University of Tennessee campus. UT's massive investments in campus facilities over the last decade were easy to see.  The Visitor Center and Student Union are one of the most impressive anywhere, and UT's status as the only flagship public institution in Tennessee is reflected in the broad academic offerings which include liberal arts and sciences, business, engineering, education, nursing, architecture, journalism and communication, and life sciences.  Some students took a tour of the 104,000-seat Neyland Stadium that included access to the media room, Peyton Manning Locker Room complex, and premium seating areas.  At dinner students visited with Canterbury graduates Stella Fredrick '22, Logan Grabowski '23. and Kate Royster '23.

After three intensive days of college visits, students enjoyed an outing to TopGolf.  Not all of the swings were particularly inspiring, but everyone had a great time.