Office of Admissions develops permanent strategies through pandemic



Wichita State’s Office of Admissions is housed in the Marcus Welcome Center. The WSU Foundation will hold a news conference behind the center announcing major gift Monday, Aug. 31.

Every university office had to change the way they do business ever since the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world 17 months ago. 

The Office of Admissions was no exception— Especially when it came to recruiting new freshmen to come to Wichita State.

Director of Admissions Bobby Gandu said that while it was a challenge switching gears, he was happy with what the office was able to do.

“We had to get really creative in a lot of different ways to engage with prospective students, so we felt really good about all those interactions,” Gandu said.

Gandu said that they switched their focus from in-person events to aggressively reaching out to each and every possible student.

“We found that we were pretty aggressive in our outreach, and students really appreciated that they were stuck at home,” Gandu said. “They didn’t have a lot of options and so hearing from potentially their future college I think really got them charged up and fired up about at least going to college.”

Admissions found other creative ways to get students excited— including sending more customized mail to students’ doorsteps and putting signs in front yards. Some of that customization even included photoshop.

“We asked high school seniors at the time to send us their senior pictures and then we basically photoshopped them in different places on campus with Wu holding a picture frame around them,” he said. “We were hoping students would find a sense of home in Wichita State.”

While last year was not an ideal situation for anyone, Gandu said that the office was able to learn new tips and tricks that they’ll be able to bring to the future — even when the pandemic is over.

“We did a lot of things this last year where we were trying to provide students options as they were conducting their college search,” Gandu said. “We had a lot of virtual events, we had current Wichita State students, our staff, our faculty, having opportunities to engage with prospective students. But we also had in-person events too, so students can still actually come visit our campus.”

Gandu said the biggest difference between last year and this year was the ability to hold bigger in-person events.

“We still had a few on campus programs that were a little larger in scale to where they could come and get to know a few people,” he said.  “We did a lot of outdoor activities, and we attended a lot of virtual events and high schools and college fairs too. So we still try to provide the best outreach that we could in the safest way possible.”