The Miami Admissions Department is capitalizing on those bragging rights with a new tour for prospective students and their parents called “Tours and Tunes.” These tours will be given every Thursday night at 5:30 p.m. starting on June 13, with the tour concluding at the Uptown Park for the summer concert series.
“Tours and Tunes allow prospective students and families to see beyond the campus,” said Andrew Boehm, the Associate Director of Campus Visit and Events. “People are able to interact with the greater Oxford community and what makes Oxford not just the city that Miami resides in, but a home.”
The university currently does not include Uptown in the daily tours. That is because the tours need to highlight the necessary aspects of campus in a timely manner. It is also felt that during the regular semester, students in Uptown houses or drinking establishments can be distracting for the prospective students and parents.
But Tours and Tunes during the summer gives potential students the chance to meet people within the community at the concert and get a feel for the community aspect of Oxford, Boehm said.
The Admissions Department held a few tours through Uptown earlier this semester on Sundays for Presidential Fellows, an elite scholarship program for applying students. Olivia Prosser, a Miami senior tour guide, led the first Uptown tour for this group.
“I highlighted the restaurants and events in Uptown and how Oxford is a community built on family businesses rather than chains,” said Prosser. “The group was able to see Oxford as a whole, and all of its unique little nooks, which is one of the many reasons why so many students love this place.”
Tours and Tunes also accommodate working parents as the tours start later in the evening, while regular campus tours are at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.
“I think Tours and Tunes will be really effective because it is at a later time, the weather will have cooled down in the evenings and the families will get to see the sunset and be involved with the community,” said summer guide Abigail Downs. “We will be able to show off the campus life in a much more extended, community-based way.”
“Guides are advised to highlight their favorite restaurants and draw upon their memories to have an experience-based tour rather than just facts,” said tour guide manager Lindsay Griffing. “Many guides point out Graeter’s Ice Cream, as the CEO is a Miami grad.” Other local sights, such as the Farmer’s Market, also are noted. “We want to show the students coming closer together with Oxford as a community,” Griffing said.
“I think Tours and Tunes will provide a unique depth to the touring experience that a lot of other schools don’t offer,” said Fran Malloy, father of prospective student Ben Malloy. “College is about much more than just what occurs in the classroom and this event really showcases that.”
The Malloy family is from Naperville, IL and has one current Miami student, senior Madeline Malloy. Ben started looking at Miami this past fall, with Miami being the only school on his list in a small town. All of the other schools Ben is considering are located in big cities.
“I am interested in Tours and Tunes because it shows that Oxford is not just Miami’s campus and there are activities that tie together the school and the town,” said Ben.
“Tours and Tunes bring together Miami’s campus and the overarching community,” said Boehm. “We wanted to show off the beautiful, homey town and great people that fill it while supporting the students, and I believe this event will do exactly that.”