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Friday, Oct. 31, 2014

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Office of Admission to assume oversight of Orange Key

To help position the Orange Key Guide Service to share information with campus visitors about new initiatives taking shape at Princeton University, administrative responsibility for the guide service will move to the Office of Admission this month.

Orange Key, a volunteer student organization that provides campus tours, currently operates under Princeton University Services, but campus changes that include the initiation of the four-year residential college in 2007, the expansion of the student body, and the growth of the creative and performing arts create an opportunity for Orange Key guides to play a stronger role in sharing information about the University's specific initiatives.

"As we approach next fall, we have the opportunity to start talking about the new Whitman College," said Janet Lavin Rapelye, dean of admission. "We will be articulating the mission of the four-year college system, which will be new for all of us. Also, as we move forward in using the Peter Lewis gift of $101 million for the creative arts, we have an opportunity to talk about Princeton in a fresh way. This move gives us more moments to shape that message for our visitors."

The move to the admission office will allow for coordinated information to ensure that the student guides have information that is valuable for Princeton's visitors, Rapelye said.

The majority of people served by the Orange Key tours are prospective students and their children, and Orange Key promotes its tours as "the primary means for prospective students and visitors to learn about the University through the individual perspectives of undergraduate students."

"I believe that Orange Key’s shift to the admission office is a logical move that will benefit both organizations," said Princeton junior Alexie Rothman, who heads Orange Key. "While these two facets of the University are separate entities, they share a similar mission at their core. We both strive to present campus visitors, especially to prospective students, with a comprehensive picture of University life. Accordingly, it makes sense to have us working together to make sure that we accomplish this goal as successfully as possible."

Orange Key, which was organized in 1935, has operated under various offices on campus. It moved from the Office of Communications to become part of the Frist Campus Center when the center opened in September of 2000 and remained there when Frist began operating under the auspices of University Services in 2003.

Paul Breitman, general manager for University Services, said that his department is evolving to offer more contract management services, so the movement of Orange Key to the admission office "makes sense."

The move won't result in any change in the operational logistics of the tours, Rapelye said. They will continue to leave from Frist and last approximately one hour. The guide service will also maintain its own tour schedules.

The only significant change will be that the admission office will be able to greater support the efforts of Orange Key.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for us all to work together," Rapelye said. "We expect to build a closer relationship with our student volunteers."

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