Welcoming Future Faces to Fordham

LCS is a highly influential organization at Fordham, and more students should consider giving tours



University President Tania Tetlow, J.D., poses with members of Lincoln Center Society, the student organization that runs campus tours.


One year ago I was looking at where I’d end up attending college. As a senior in high school, I enjoyed taking tours of universities and imagining myself studying on their campuses. 

These tours were often very similar to each other. Each began with a presentation featuring photos of smiling students walking around the community. There were books and pamphlets to place in prospective students’ bags, each inscribed with a logo or inspiring tagline (for example, Fordham’s line, “New York is my campus, Fordham is my school.”) I would spend time walking through beautiful buildings that looked like they could be the headquarters for a tech company. Tour guides would gesture toward statues of school founders that most current students pass without a glance. 

Nothing is wrong with that polished tour experience; it is part of the traditional college application process. But an essential part of choosing a college is learning about the authentic and unique student experience at each school. A student tour guide can help prospective students understand what it is like to be at their university. 

Like the introductory presentations always say, there’s something for everyone at Fordham, but you might not be fully convinced of that without the perspective of a real student.

Because of how much I loved going on college tours, I knew from my initial moments at Fordham that I had to be a part of the Lincoln Center Society (LCS) — a fancy name for the group of student ambassadors who give tours of Fordham Lincoln Center (FLC) to potential students and their families. Since joining, I have found that LCS has a major influence on campus life, and more students should consider participating.

LCS shares the real scoop of FLC. The best tour guides tell prospective students information that the brochures don’t share on their own. Most people don’t come to visit our campus for a sheet of available majors and minors. Instead of rattling off a boring list, I love mentioning intriguing topics I’m currently studying in class, like medieval patterns of courtly love, the four-paragraph lede, U.S. foreign affairs, the music of Bad Bunny, and drawing theological parallels to the film “A Serious Man.” 

Many tour attendees ask me what I do after class, and I highlight all the unique aspects of my extracurriculars. I’ll tell my guests about my experience seeing “Camelot” on Broadway with my Arthurian literature class, participating in Shabbat with the Jewish Student Organization, and perfecting my craft with fellow contributors at weekly Observer meetings. Like the introductory presentations always say, there’s something for everyone at Fordham, but you might not be fully convinced of that without the perspective of a real student. 

My favorite part of giving tours is learning about the future faces of Fordham.

LCS tour guides act as some of the first people that our guests see on their Fordham journeys, so it is vital to be hospitable. We go to great lengths to show visitors that we appreciate their visit to campus and can help answer any questions they may have. 

Sometimes, I have to answer tough questions, but I don’t lie or shy away from answering anything, since my answers may actually encourage students to join our community. As a club, we practice our responses to difficult questions. For example, a club leader challenged us to answer how Fordham is different from other competitive schools in New York City. My group determined we’d tell our hypothetical guest that FLC is a midsize university operating in a shape close to a square. This creates a close-knit community, since Fordham offers a small-campus feel in a big city. Students run into each other and stop to say hello or have a conversation in the halls and elevators, creating a warm environment for learning. 

With two unique campuses, students are able to meet many new faces and join clubs that aren’t offered here at Lincoln Center. FLC students have the choice to take up to 40% of their classes at the Rose Hill campus. Rose Hill offers more traditional, picturesque college grounds — it was even featured in the Albert Einstein Verizon ad

We also remind students there’s often no need to walk far between classes at the Lincoln Center campus — most liberal arts classes are in the Lowenstein Center, and most business classes are in the 140 West 62nd Street Building. I love showing guests how the buildings on campus, except for Martino Hall, are all connected at street-level. During the cold winter months, you normally don’t even need to go outside to get from your dorm to class.

My favorite part of giving tours is learning about the future faces of Fordham. Hearing guest experiences about visiting siblings in the city, interests in specific departments in our school, and trips to New York from the Midwest allow tour guides to get a head start on learning about incoming students. Their interests and talents will shape Fordham throughout their college years, and I love being able to meet them first. 

I am not alone in my passion for being a tour guide. There are over 50 at FLC, the majority of whom hold volunteer positions. We must meet time-consuming requirements, including an interview, a questionnaire, weekly tours and monthly meetings, but it is all worth it for the opportunity to introduce prospective students to our beloved campus.

College applications are a stressful time for everyone, but touring colleges can help prospective students get excited about their futures amid the uncertainty. Being a student tour guide allows me to share in this excitement all over again by giving a warm welcome to our future community.