Alexis Lang Lunn, Director of Admissions

The 2023-24 school year saw record enrolment of new students to SMUS. September was an exciting time, right from the inaugural class of Junior Kindergarten students through to the 116 new boarding students, from 28 different countries, who now call SMUS their second home. The tapestry that is the SMUS student community is vibrant and diverse. As the 239 newest community members settle in, Admissions is already well on its way, engaging with new families as they inquire and apply for the 2024-25 school year.

This fall, several of us in the Admissions office are entering our 10th year on the SMUS recruitment journey. Admitting students is a responsibility that is not taken lightly in the work we do. Our work not only impacts the lives of the young people who attend SMUS, but also those of their parents and extended families. Moreover, we know these important relationships transcend time alongside the various stages in everyone’s lives.

Admissions has a front-row seat to the world—and not just from a window seat on an airplane or within the Richmond Road and Victoria Avenue Admissions offices, but through our ability to connect with the vast network of SMUS alumni, past parents, and friends of our dynamic school community. We witness nervous moments, and provide reassuring words. We see the tears of joy, and moments of great pride, for both students and parents alike—and sometimes even disappointment; it’s never easy turning away a student candidate.

On a recent recruitment trip, some 11,000 km away from SMUS, what a privilege it was to reconnect with a past parent who still follows the SMUS Weekly. She now relives her SMUS journey through the experience of a lifelong friend who, this past year, enrolled her child at SMUS. While there, I also met with a prospective parent who’s colleague had attended SMUS more than a decade ago. It was this word-of-mouth referral based on the colleague’s exceptional SMUS experience that brought the prospective family to SMUS’ attention.

An often-repeated sentiment from former students, now prospective parents, is that their time at SMUS enabled them to build a foundation for their lives and, consequently, they hope to provide their children with the same positive opportunity. It is in these moments that you realize how impactful a SMUS education is and how interconnected we are as a community, both locally, and, quite literally, in all corners of the world.

We witness nervous moments, and provide reassuring words. We see the tears of joy, and moments of great pride, for both students and parents alike.

- Alexis Lang Lunn, Director of Admissions

With an eye to the next school year, the fall is an incredibly busy time in Admissions. Next week, on Friday, October 13, we look forward to welcoming friends and prospective families to the school’s Open House. Additionally, by December, we will have visited nearly 20 countries, and have met with many current and prospective families. More details on the Open House and our travel schedules can be found here.

How do we find prospective families?

Referrals from friends, current and past parents, and alumni are the greatest sources of inquiries and applications to SMUS. We value these referrals as they are often best positioned to know the type of student who will find success at our school. The introductions made, invitations extended, and contact information shared, are all greatly appreciated.

My own introduction and journey to SMUS began at a dinner party two decades ago. Listening to those SMUS parents speak about their children's experiences, and relating to ‘that feeling’ one gets on account of belonging to the SMUS family—I just knew I had to have my children at SMUS!

Fast forward 20 years, and I am getting very close to welcoming cohorts from my children’s graduating years as Junior Kindergarten parents. We’ve come full circle and so have the 150-plus SMUS students who have at least one alumni parent—the largest number of alumni children attending our school throughout its magnificent history.