Thursday, July 11, 2013

Landesman Departs for Choate

ASC program director Landesman leaves Yale after 12 years
How often did Marcia Landesman provide a soft shoulder for Yale alumni interviewers to cry on?  How often did she applaud interviewers for their efforts and their colorful, detailed and warm write-ups? And how often did she remind interviewers that, yes, she and the Yale admissions committee read every word they wrote in interview summaries?

As everyone who follows the college game knows, over the past decade, the number of undergraduate applications to Yale has soared toward the heavens--progressing toward a magical 30,000 mark. Year after year, Landesman stepped in to soothe and console Yale interviewers all over Westchester who were flabbergasted when stellar applicants with perfect scores and unblemished records were rejected in the early days of spring.

It was part of the job. Landesman handled it with compassion and concern. Leading Yale's Alumni Schools Committee program across the country and spearheading recruiting in the Westchester area, she understood the frustration of sending a rejection letter to local valedictorians, student-council presidents, and volleyball captains. But she rejoiced in finding a gem among the thousands, the one person in 15 who received an acceptance letter, whose credentials screamed that he or she deserved a spot on Old Campus.
Landesman (Yale photo)

At many Bronxville receptions for Westchester students admitted to Yale, she relished in recounting the singular brilliance and the astounding tales of those who had just gotten in and those who proceeded to eclipse their high-school successes once they arrived in New Haven.

Landesman, an Associate Director of Admissions at Yale for the past 12 years, decided to take a different step this summer. She announced that she was leaving Yale this summer to accept a position as co-director of college guidance at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Ct.  She steps over to the other side to assist 17- and 18-year-olds in the arduous, agonizing annual admissions race.  She totes to Choate bags of experience, filled with advice and counsel on what it takes to win a coveted acceptance e-mail to Yale (and its peer schools)--the one that sings "Bulldog, Bulldog" to the lucky ones accepted. 

Bowen Posner, who has been in the admissions office the past three years, will succeed Landesman as director of the ASC program.

"Leading the ASC has been an honor and privilege," she wrote in a letter last month to Yale interviewers everywhere. "I will certainly miss you." An army of Yale interviewers in Westchester will miss Landesman, her enthusiasm for all things of and about Yale, and her ability to provide comforting words to the Westchester interviewer who interviews the valedictorian and lacrosse captain with a 2400 SAT score, who didn't get that Yale acceptance e-mail.


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