NACAC: A History Lesson from Mom

Carnegie Higher Ed Sep 10, 2015 Carnegie Higher Ed Persona The Visionary Frontrunner

Picture it: Chicago, 1969.

A young and enthusiastic Director of College Counseling from Beaver Country Day School in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, makes her way to NACAC. As she puts it, there were lots of meetings you could go to, but the main reason to attend was to broaden your contact base and meet college admission people from around the country. Especially from schools to which your students wanted to apply or schools that could be good choices for your students but about which you knew nothing.

It was a different world back then! There were no computers, e-mail, or Internet. Instead, this Director of College Counseling had an office lined with catalogues, view books, and resource guides. Every year she’d clean out the old catalogues and put in the new ones that came in the mail. Any other information came from college reps or her own college visits. So NACAC truly gave high school people a chance to make connections and get info about colleges they might not get otherwise.

That Director of College Counseling from NACAC 1969 is my mom. And she dedicated a large portion of her career to helping her students find the right college options and opportunities for them.

Fast forward 46 years, and here I am looking forward to heading to NACAC in San Diego in a couple weeks. Working for an enrollment marketing firm like Carnegie Communications, it’s great to hear about my mom’s experiences and what it was all about for her. As our CEO often says when asked about Carnegie’s mission and history, it’s simple: since 1985, we’ve aimed to do all we can to help students find the colleges and opportunities that best fit them, while helping colleges reach and connect with the prospective student audiences that fit them too.

It makes me proud, being connected to the history and cause my mom was so dedicated to. And it makes me happy that 46 years later, no matter what brings us all to NACAC, and no matter how much things have changed, the reason we’re all there is to help play some role in accomplishing the same primary goal.

For those headed to NACAC in a few weeks—enjoy your time there! And remember, if you don’t get a chance to connect with that school you wanted to or get those new materials you needed, don’t worry; there’s a crazy new thing called the World Wide Web that can help you once you return.

(My mom and my son talking future college options)

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