Hope College provides unique opportunities for student-athletes to get involved with prospective Hope athletes; this was on full display this past week at the annual athlete host event. Hosting has become part of Hope’s culture, where students can come directly onto campus and experience a day in the life of a student athlete. Activities range from a donut run to a movie to simply walking around campus.
The process begins when a prospective student plans their visit. “In the email, introduce yourself as their overnight host. Share your hometown, academic area of interest, activities currently involved in on campus,” says a brochure provided to hosts. In addition, hosts should make suggestions on activities to do during their visit, so that the prospect does not get bored, and they should make sure that the prospect has their contact information.
Prospective students begin the hosting trip with the student-athlete coming to pick them up on campus. The host then typically gives the prospect a tour of campus, going around the various academic buildings and athletic facilities. The student usually takes the prospect to an on-campus venue to eat (the prospect has to have their expenses covered), followed by more touring. On a normal hosting weekend, since the prospect comes on a Thursday, there is an abundance of events, ranging from coffeehouse at 9 p.m. to donut runs with other prospects. After a long day of touring, the student and the prospect settle in to sleep. The next morning, depending on whether the prospect has any events to attend, the student drops them off at a specific time or waits with the prospect until their parents come to get them.
Hosting allows forging of early relationships with prospects. These students could still be looking into other schools, or they might be set on coming to Hope. The goal of the host is not to convince the student to come to Hope, but inform them of the opportunity to come to Hope to make a difference. The college wants its students to be anchored in hope. If you are interested in hosting, contact your coach to get more details.