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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

History taught through tours

Courtesy+of+Natalie+Jo+HorwitzA+group+of+Arizona+Ambassadors.+The+Arizona+Ambassadors+lead+tours+for+prospective+students%26%23160%3Bon+weekdays+during+the+semester.

Courtesy of Natalie Jo Horwitz

A group of Arizona Ambassadors. The Arizona Ambassadors lead tours for prospective students on weekdays during the semester.

Arizona Ambassadors provide prospective students and their families with a warm welcome and some UA history to make them feel more at home on campus during their orientations.

The UA organization has existed on campus since 1979. Each ambassador memorizes and recites the facts about the UA’s history for thousands of parents, prospective high school students, alumni and other people interested in the UA throughout the year. Some of the locations on the tour include Old Main, the Student Recreation Center, the Main Library and Bear Down Gymnasium where they sing “Bear Down, Arizona,” the UA’s fight song.

They give tours around campus Monday through Friday at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. with about 17 people in each tour. On Saturday, the tours start at 10 a.m.

Haley Berner, a nutritional sciences junior and ambassador since fall 2014, became the ambassador president last November. She is in charge of speaking in the monthly meeting, disciplining the other 128 ambassadors and overseeing the rest of the leadership team.

Berner said she believes having a positive person who can express a lot of information about the university in a fun way is key to getting freshmen to become Wildcats.

“We make or break prospective students’ decision to come here,” Berner said. “I’ve had so many students come up to me and say, ‘I’m coming to the UA because of you.’ We are a huge influence as to how are university is going to turn out and what kind of people are going to come here.”

Sydney Werry, a theatre arts senior, has been an ambassador ever since freshman year and is one of the oldest people, both age- and time-wise, in the club.

Since becoming an ambassador, Werry said she has come to love the university more. When she first came to the university, she got a tour from an ambassador, and it made her want to enroll at the UA.

She said her favorite part of being an ambassador is changing the minds of skeptical students by the end of the tour.

Carolina Higuera, a communication sophomore, is a general member of Arizona Ambassadors with plans of a future leadership position as selections chair or president.

“Ambassadors are important to the school, because we are the first faces that a lot of students see,” Higuera said.

On the tour, Higuera said she always loves to talk about the 150 flags in the UA Bookstore that represent a country where a student or faculty member is from.

“It makes students more comfortable to see how diverse the whole campus is,” she said.

The Arizona Ambassadors group is not looking for a specific type of person to apply. They perform community service, participate in Spring Fling and other general university events as well.

As an honorary club, all students must maintain a 3.0 GPA or above and be in the club for at least a year, but they can be ambassadors until they graduate.

The organization also hosts the “Arizona Experience,” which is an all-day event for prospective students and their families. Arizona Ambassadors are also sent on recruiting events all over the country, traveling to states such as Texas, New Mexico, Washington, Oregon, Illinois and New York, according to Berner.

“A lot of members in our club are involved in many other things and come from all sorts of different majors,” Werry said. “The one thing we all have in common is the love we have for this university and being able to talk about it for two hours.”

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Follow Amber White on Twitter.

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