Jet Fest celebrates Newman’s accepted high school students

Apr 13, 2023

The acceptance notice from a university is one of the most exciting emails for a high school student, so Newman hosts a day for all of its accepted students to celebrate. 

Jet Fest, formally known as Accepted Students Day, is a day where students get to celebrate with their families about being accepted into Newman. It is a day full of activities and getting to know both current and future students, while also meeting prominent members of the Newman community. 

Andi Giesen, Ed.D., the interim dean of students; Father Adam Grelinger, the Newman chaplain; and Sister Therese Wetta, ASC, were a few members in attendance at the April 1 event. 

Attendee from Jet Fest poses with his completed caricature.

Georgia Drewes, senior associate director of admissions, helped organize the event from start to finish. Altogether, 17 students paid their deposit and committed to Newman University at Jet Fest. There were a total of 48 students and 82 guests in attendance. 

Some of the activities that were held at Jet Fest were Zubaball, relay races, face painting, a caricature artist and Kona Ice truck. There were also tables for clubs, sports and other activities that take place around campus for students to check out. 

“I love when students identify their best fit and commit,” Drewes said.

Georgia Drewes, senior associate director of admissions
Georgia Drewes, senior associate director of admissions

Drewes explained that finding the right “fit” means something different for everyone.

“Some are motivated by academic programs, others by athletics, faith life opportunities, location, size, cost, etc.,” she said. “Jet Fest is really a culmination of us working and building rapport with students and their families over the course of the year. And the fact that they feel comfortable coming to the event, celebrating, bringing their families and committing is a sign that we’re on the right path.” 

Christy Hawks, director of admissions, was quick to give Drewes the spotlight. 

“Georgia puts this together and she is a staple to this university. She was here as an ambassador student and admissions counselor and now she is the senior associate director of admissions. She has shaped this event into what it is today. She lives and breathes Newman,” said Hawks.

Attendee from Jet Fest poses with her family.

The admission counselors work side by side with these students from the time they are high school juniors or even before, so seeing them in person is a huge joy for them as well. Jet Fest solidifies the purpose of it all, and students can celebrate their own hard work as they — and parents — get important questions answered. 

Seeing the “full circle” effect of reconnecting with familiar faces from the admissions process is one of Hawks’ favorite parts of her job.

“One girl, Valeria, had such a genuine smile and excitement from the very first time I met her. Newman was her top choice and she has been to most of the Newman events. She is also one of the top academic scholars,” said Hawks. 

Hawks added, “(Jet Fest) really reminds us of the purpose of admissions and the full extent of our roles in the day.” 

Zoe Dawdy, attendee of Jet Fest, gets her face painted.

I don’t look at it like a job, but instead, I’m a small part of a very large picture for many students.

Christy Hawks, director of admissions

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