By Victoria Lavelle
Thousands of college students gathered at Philadelphia’s Dilworth Park for the 10th annual CollegeFest, a city-wide festival full of giveaways, entertainment, free admission to museums and more on Sept. 9th.
Produced by Campus Philly, the event welcomed college students with a valid college ID to explore 14 city exhibits, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Franklin Institute, the Academy of Natural Sciences, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, and Eastern State Penitentiary.
More than 30 students from Delaware County Community College registered for the event which cost $5 to cover transportation. Organized by Breanne Rogers, assistant director of the Campus Life office, the group gathered outside the Marple campus main entrance early Saturday and filled a local school district bus to near capacity.
“We have a large group of DCCC International students who I am pleased to have join us for CollegeFest this year,” Rogers said. “Today’s event will be a beneficial occasion because it will introduce them to the city of Philadelphia, while comfortably being surrounded by their peers and friends.”
Event organizer Campus Philly is a nonprofit organization that fuels economic growth by encouraging college students to study, explore, live and work in the Greater Philadelphia tri-state region. According to their mission statement, the organization “helps college students find that moment when they fall in love with Philadelphia.
For once that moment occurs, students will begin to think of building their futures in Philadelphia.”
A 2010 Campus Philly survey of 4,600 undergraduates, graduate students and alumni reported 48 percent of all non-native area college alumni stayed in the greater-Philadelphia area after graduation, a sharp increase compared to the 29 percent findings from a 2004 survey conducted by Knowledge Industry Partnership (KIP).
“CollegeFest has evolved over the years, even before Campus Philly was a full-fledged organization,” said Brynn Monaghan, the Campus Philly communications manager. “Introducing students to the area has become our focus, while making it the best five hours in Philly with the help of local museums, exhibits, vendors, and entertainment.”
With an autumn breeze in the air, the venue kicked off with a wide range of activities. Students downloaded new mobile applications, competed in relay races, spun game wheels for prizes, and explored the city by riding the Philly PHLASH Downtown Loop tourist trolley for free.
An array of businesses partnered with CollegeFest for exclusive setups in the tent village, which included the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) student lounge, the AT&T cellular charging station, the Capital One photo booths, and the Vanguard dunking station.
“I am excited to be attending CollegeFest because it offers a chance to meet students from other universities and colleges throughout the Delaware Valley, and Eastern State Penitentiary tops the list of places to visit today,” said DCCC nursing student Rebecca Bennett.
Philadelphia’s native hip-hop artist Chill Moody headlined the entertainment with a live performance on the mainstage at noon. The crowd cheered as he sang chart topping songs including “Home Again,” “Never Fall,” and “Inhale, Exhale.” Afterwards, Moody stepped out into the audience to meet with fans and pose for photos. The official disc jockey was DJ Reezey, and this year’s emcee was Akeen Dixon.
Before students left, they took advantage of free swag from a variety of organizations and companies including Go- Puff, Monster Energy, IKEA, and L.L. Bean. Sunglasses, key chains, pens, backpacks, notebooks, and gift certificates were all part of student takeaways as students walked away from the festival with bags and hands full.
To close out the event, Philadelphia’s collegiate were offered 10 dollar discount tickets to attend the Temple Owls vs. Villanova Tigers football game at Lincoln Financial Field.
Vivian Nguyen, a DCCC business administration major and first-timer to the event, described her expectations as enthusiastic.
“I don’t know my way around Philadelphia because it’s such a big and busy city, so the main attraction for me was the transportation in combination with the longlist of free venues offered,” Neguyen said. “Though I thoroughly enjoyed the brain exhibit at the Franklin Institute, I wish we would have had more time to explore some of the other venues. I will likely return next year for the opportunity.”
Contact Victoria Lavelle at communitarian@m ail.dccc.edu