Remember your college acceptance letters? They came in the regular mail, with a STAMP, and you called your best friend on the HOUSE PHONE to tell her? (Okay, maybe you’re not quite as old as me, but just humor me for a second. I’m a little sensitive about the new gray I found this morning.) Well, today’s generation of college-bound students has a whole new world in front of them. They are the generation that’s been shaped by social media, texting, 3D printers … and, of course, Harry Potter.
Thank goodness J.K. Rowling gave us the magical world of Hogwarts, so we could escape to a place where kids read books and went on courageous adventures to fight evil and defend their friends. We all needed stories like Harry Potter to teach us about integrity and loyalty, and to remind us that we all have value in this world. And knowing that this fall’s incoming freshmen — the class of 2022 — is of the first who grew up with Harry and Ron and Hermione, Boston College decided to make their acceptance announcement far more exciting than a plain old sheet of paper sent in the mail.
“Like many others here at BC, I was drawn to the gothic, ‘Hogwarts-looking’ campus as a high school student, especially when BC tour guides brought us into Bapst Library and pointed out its resemblance to the Great Hall,” says John Walsh, 2017 BC alum and current Creative Producer for BC’s Office of University Communications, in an interview with Babble.
In fact, it was Walsh’s love for both his alma mater and the wizarding world of Harry Potter that inspired him to create what he calls a “‘Special Delivery’ Admissions video.” And if you watch it, you’ll see that hearing you were accepted into BC this way really is the next best thing to getting your invitation delivered by owl in the night.
Walsh tells Babble that the video is filmed at Boston College’s Bapst Library, and that the Dumbledore-looking figure at the end is Fr. Michael Himes, a Professor of Theology and beloved member of the BC community. Also featured is another professor — Kerry Cronin — and the BC band.
As a huge Harry Potter fan myself, this video’s resemblance to Hogwarts is uncanny. A curly-haired girl, clad in a Griffendor scarf, holds a lantern as she walks the halls and finds secret passageways and windy staircases. In another shot, a BC student walks through the library, which is quite similar to the Great Hall. And, of course, acceptance letters are handed off to trusty owls to do their job of delivering them. Amazing.
Walsh also shares that it’s not just because he loves Harry Potter and BC that he wanted to make this video. It’s also about what the story of Harry Potter represents — a deep sense of community and place where students will make life-long friends, just as Hogwarts students did.
“BC is a community of strong friendships and camaraderie, which is not unlike the spirit which makes J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series so endearing and meaningful to this generation,” he says.
Walsh says he knows that many students of this generation grew up imagining what it could feel like to receive a letter from Hogwarts. And while he couldn’t replicate that magic exactly, maybe this unique acceptance video would help incoming freshmen feel welcome and excited to join BC — a place John Walsh feels is pretty special, too.