College's inaugural Women's Inspirational Summer Experience a huge hit

Female students participating in an icebreaker at the first WISE

This summer marked the dawn of a new undertaking at Marietta College.

The Women’s Inspirational Summer Experience (which was renamed Welcoming Inspirational Summer Experience in 2020 and was expanded to include students regardless of sex) welcomed its first cohort of high school students to campus for four days starting on Tuesday, July 9th.

This four-day residential experience provided young women in high school with a glimpse of college life and helped to boost their confidence as they plan for their futures. It was designed to increase morale in participants, as well as sharpen communication skills, create new friends and mentors, and gain knowledge about the college adventure.

Day 1 kicked off with students moving into a residence hall and enjoying an icebreaker exercise led by Dr. Raven Cromwell, Assistant Professor of Education. Cromwell’s high-energy introduction and mixer exercises kept the 25 high school students engaged with their “handshake partners” and meeting new friends.

Sadie Johnson ’20 (Bloomington, Indiana), one of the four camp mentors, shared a quick kick routine with mentee Marla Anderson, 18, before sharing a secret handshake routine with another.

“My teacher signed me up for this after I came here in May for a college tour,” said Anderson, of Columbus, Ohio. “The president of the College was talking about this when I was here earlier and it sounded interesting.”

Throughout the week, high school juniors and seniors explored majors, participated in uplifting activities and engaged in programs that build entrepreneurial and leadership skills. WISE was also packed with fun experiences in art, music, and community service.

While only in its first year, WISE already showed a great deal of promise. In fact, there were so many young women registered that the College accumulated a full waiting list.

“This is a week all about empowerment and encouragement,” Johnson said. “I think it’s so crucial for these young women to hear how talented they are and how much potential they have.”

A major advantage for WISE attendees was working closely with faculty, staff and current Marietta College student mentors to explore resources and opportunities available to them as they navigate forward.

The cost of the all-inclusive experience was just $100, and several scholarships were also available to help cover up to the full amount.

For more information on the Women’s Inspirational Summer Experience, contact Maribeth Saleem-Tanner, Marietta College’s Director of Civic Engagement, at