The admissions and external affairs staff, along with CSU-Pueblo alumni, were among those who traveled on the Thunderbus this summer to Lamar, Trinidad, Alamosa, Colorado Springs, La Junta and Loveland, to recruit perspective students to attend the university. About eight CSU-Pueblo student athletes and six coaches also participated in the different events.
At all stops on the tour CSU-Pueblo representatives were there to help new students enroll, complete housing contracts and answer enrollment questions and help current students check their financial aid status and answer any other questions.
“The Thunderbus Tailgate Tour was a terrific example of campus offices coming together in collaborative fashion to promote the university and to contribute to our conversion efforts,” said Cora Zaletel, the executive director of the Office of External Affairs.
About $14,000 was spent on the tour, which paid for food, the bus and bus driver costs, advertising and T-shirts. The cost was split between the Admissions Office and the Office of External Affairs.
The Thunderbus was an actual bus from campus that tour members rode on to the stops of tour. Its name was thought up by an Office of External Affairs planning committee.
The best thing about the tour was the buzz they created in all six of the communities that were visited, Zaletel said.
“We bumped up advertising in those towns through radio remotes and newspaper advertising, and parking the bus on busy streets and in city parks definitely had people talking and stopping,” she said. “It didn’t hurt having Wolfie, the mascot, waving to passing motorists and getting lots of honks.”
Next summer the tour will have four stops instead of six, in order to focus on areas with higher concentration of CSU-Pueblo alumni and recruiters, Zaletel said. Colorado Springs and Trinidad are the cities that will remain on the tour, and Cañon City and South Denver will be added to the list of stops next year.
The second tour is scheduled for next summer during May and June. The committee hopes there will be more advisors added, as well as select alumni from each town on the tour, to help promote and coordinate the publicity efforts of the Tailgate Tour, she said.