I can see why we were sent to the University of New Hampshire. Land grant college vibe like Cornell. More affordable than Cornell. Beautiful setting like Cornell with nature inching onto the campus. Lovely rocks, trees, small brooks--missing the gorgeous quads and views that Cornell has, but same sort of proximity to nature and greenery. Some amazing new facilities from the dining rooms and dorms to the gym, the campus center/student center, the amazing library and computer clusters to the Bio facilities and the amazing (truly) Engineering labs with all sorts of machinery to make and do with. Very sustainable in their speak (but unlike Emerson who's new rennovations do more than speak about sustainable, they are detailled into every aspect of their new buildings. Beautiful new halls that really are designed to be state of the art, beautiful and clean, good use of color to designate areas..wonderful windows again to bring the pine trees and rocks into the building. Inside out.
We did the tour and info session which is pretty much the same template that most use. The big room with coffee and some sort of thing to eat. Then, the slide show about what it is to be part of the community, the classes, the greek system, the international programs, the majors/minors/programs they offer. Then, the smiling person who talks about financial aid, the fees and tuition and the grants, scholarships and loans available. Then we are always broken into groups for the tour which always consists of dorms, food, entertainment and the gym, and then a classroom or two. This tour is always for the "moms' who are just this side of suicidal about where the baby will eat, what they will eat, when they will eat, how they will eat, sleep, with who, how and when, security, and how they will be entertained (as there is so much free time in college, you barely know what to think). However, at the gym there is this amazing room you can rent mountain bikes, skis, cross skis, gym equipment, tents, sleeping bags...you name it to use. Free. Additionally, you can rent/borrow a computer the same way so they make the aspect of owning a computer is a nice but not necessary. There are quite a few things like this that pushes the student a bit out of their corners to try stuff.
So, we toured the art building, the bio building and the engineering facility independently. We were constantly surprised at the nice faculty members who took us to the side to explain something, point us in the right direction--interested in Kitty and our quests. It was slow to warm up to but with the offering in biology, the nature and location, the price and proximity to Boston (an Amtrack train hourly goes through the campus taking you further up the coast to Maine or within an hour, Boston...so close enough to make an urban experience doable and affordable. It was much less our tribe and Kitty's tribe...but it is an option not worth discarding. What with some 2000 classes offered to the community of 12000 students, there must be a range of things to study and engage in. The student body seemed nice but a bit like as Kitty put it "high school". However the facilities belie that. I still think Hampshire is our first passion for now...but a revisit will be needed to my thinking. New Hampshire is not to be ruled out as an option as a place to apply.
We are spending the night at the New England Center, right off the UNH campus. It looks like the "Ewok Hotel" as Rob calls it with a vertical orientation within a pine forest that you can look out the big windows at. The building is green colored and blends in with the trees, the rocks and the light green growth just beginning to peek through though there are still hillocks of snow still needing to melt. It is very nice and clean...with plenty of space for the home team to not be too crowded (yesterday at the Onyx was a bit tight, but the beds were prime...and with the lights off, no one would even know how small the space was...(and you can overlook it a bit as the Aveda soap and shampoo are a real treat!). Hopefully some seafood tonight!