Come Back and Visit!

Emily "Pete" Petersell

Hello, admitted students to the Class of 2023! It is I, Dining Hall Pete, here to congratulate you and welcome you to Olin College! I am so excited about the possibility of seeing your faces in the dining hall on a regular basis starting this fall, and I hope you are equally excited about potentially joining the Olin community.

However, I have to be completely honest with you about something: I am not always Dining Hall Pete.

For most of the academic year, I am just regular old Pete. I work in the Office of Admission and Financial Aid, and I don’t make announcements in the dining hall on normal days. “Dining Hall Pete” is a role that I play exclusively during Candidates’ Weekends. It’s fun, but it’s not part of the regular dining experience at Olin.

Some of what you experienced and witnessed at Olin during Candidates’ Weekends was like Dining Hall Pete in this way—not inauthentic, but just not reflective of what a typical day at Olin would be like if you came here. Some elements of Candidates’ Weekends are part of our regular reality, and some of them are “Candidates’ Weekend things.” Some examples:

Real Life: The students you met and interacted with are 100% real Oliners. They are all very passionate, intelligent people who are highly engaged in the work they do and in what interests them. 

BUT your Olin peers will not make you do complicated, zany design challenges on a regular basis if you come here. (Though you may get to help plan the design challenge next year!)

Real Life: The food in the dining hall really is that good all the time! And our dining hall staff are incredible!

BUT the line to get food is not always that long and we don’t always consume 120 pounds of risotto at every meal—it’s just that each Candidates’ Weekend significantly increases the number of people eating on our campus.

Real Life: The professors you met are real people who are very friendly and are often willing to give up Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons to engage with students, as they did at Candidates’ Weekends.

BUT the professors do not normally teach classes on Fridays between 4:30 and 5:15 pm—all Olin classes end by 3:00 pm on Fridays.

Real Life: Dean Emily Roper-Doten really is that energetic and funny!

There’s no counterpoint to that. She is just a really high-energy person all the time. And she really is REALLY excited about you potentially coming to Olin!

Emily Roper-Doten holding admitted student letters

If you’re still unsure about whether or not Olin is the place for you, I strongly encourage you to come back and visit us for a student-hosted day or overnight visit in the next few weeks. It may be helpful for you to witness a regular day at Olin, with a regular amount of people on campus, so that you can get a sense of what it would really be like to be a student here. You can sit in on real classes, sleep in the residence halls, visit different spaces on campus, and hang out with Oliners while they do everyday things like attend club meetings and do homework and try to make a robot move across a narrow bridge (which is what our students are currently working on in Quantitative Engineering Analysis). We invite you to come back and just “be an Oliner” for the day.

If you’re interested in coming back for a visit, you can sign up in your Admitted Student Portal (accessible from your Olin Applicant Status Page). If you have any questions or concerns at all about visiting, contact us or our student Hosting Coordinator Eric Jacobsen ’21 ( If you are worried that making the trip here will be too expensive, you should contact Susan Brisson specifically ( We’d love to have you here again!

Posted in: Pete, All Admission Staff Blogs