When Bailey Carr takes a prospective Avila University student or group of students on a tour of campus and extols the virtues of the University, she knows exactly what she’s talking about.
She’s lived it.
It’s been nearly eight years since Carr, then Bailey Umstattd, went on one of those group tours herself. A wide-eyed freshman from Adrian, Mo. - a small, rural town about 50 miles south of Kansas City - Carr was looking to further her education somewhere that was close to home and at a place that was as cozy and welcoming as her hometown. She found that place at Avila.
Carr immersed herself at the University, always working hard in the classroom, becoming active in a variety of student and campus activities. She lived in all three student residence halls then on campus (Avila has since added a fourth) over her four years and graduated in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing.
“I always felt I had a support system here,” she said. “If I ever felt homesick, or was concerned about whether I was taking the right direction, there were always people I could talk to.
“I felt it was easy to join clubs. And, it was nice to meet a variety of people. My best friend was from Alaska, and I had a roommate from Vietnam.”
Carr also followed the mission of Avila’s founding Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in service to the dear neighbor by spending a year with AmeriCorps, working with Harvesters Community Food Network.
But, her love of Avila won out, and she returned to work as an admissions representative for the University in August 2010. Now, she was recruiting students to the place she’d been recruited to five years earlier. She first was assigned to recruit prospective students in the St. Louis area, then southern Missouri, from Springfield to the Boot Heel region.
A few months after joining the Admissions Office, Carr started work on her graduate degree at Avila. In 2011, she was promoted to assistant director of undergraduate admissions and, a year later, earned her master’s in fundraising.
This fall, Carr began focusing on recruiting transfer students to Avila. There probably isn’t an admissions representative better trained in what the University has to offer. After all, she’s lived it.
“I always tell students, I don’t understand why anyone would not want to come here,” she said, “because I had such a great experience. And now, I’m able to stay here and share those experiences.” AU
Media Contact: Bob Luder, 816.501.2434