It's important to choose a campus based on feeling. Aladlouni got that feeling from an ocean away.
First-timers to the Siena campus orient themselves using Siena Hall. The College's signature building is like its north star, and it's a guaranteed stop on any Siena tour. Most prospective students and family are impressed by the 83-year-old building, though Moulay Ahmed Aladlouni '23 doesn't spend much time talking about the bricks or the golden dome. He excitedly tells high schoolers about the Stack Center then the Hickey Financial Technology Center, sometimes remembering from notes, but mostly speaking from the heart. Aladlouni chose Siena without ever seeing the campus. That's partly why he became a Siena tour guide. He wants to share an experience he never had.
"I love highlighting what I didn't get to see. I really enjoy promoting the unique Siena value."
Aladlouni grew up as an English-speaking American in Morocco, without any memories of America. He was born in Michigan to an American mom and a Moroccon dad, but when he was one year old, the family moved to Northern Africa. He spoke Arabic with his dad's side of the family, picked up French (spoken by one-third of Moroccans), but attended an English school.
Public schools in Morocco primarily prepare students for secondary schooling in Morocco, and there's little movement between social classes. Aladlouni felt blessed to attend a private English-speaking school, and knew from a young age, that one day he'd return to his birth country for college. But, where?
Aladlouni applied to nine colleges and was accepted to all of them. He spent a summer in the states before his final year of high school, and toured Michigan State, Baylor, and Arizona State, among others, and then went back to Morocco to make a decision. None of them felt right. It just so happened that Lindsay King, associate director of international recruitment, had visited his high school. She spoke passionately about a liberal arts college two and a half hours north of New York City. Aladlouni thought about it, and then he tracked King down at a different college fair in a different corner of Morocco to ask her more about Siena. He made his decision without stepping foot on the campus.
Aladlouni misses family and friends (he had gone to school with the same 25 classmates since he was in kindergarten). Plus, he's still adjusting to eating dinner during daylight hours (in Morocco, dinner is generally served between 9:00 and 10:00 p.m.). But he couldn't be happier with his decision. That's why he's recruiting strangers on tours, and he's also recruiting family. Aladlouni's cousin is among this fall's record-breaking freshman class.
"Siena welcomed me with open arms from the moment I stepped foot on campus; and so far, has fallen nothing short of providing the Education for a Lifetime!
I have had, and continue to have, the opportunity to broaden my horizons, whether that’s through meeting new people or simply taking part in an activity that I previously overlooked. More importantly, the culture and community at Siena is one that proves to be very welcoming and rewarding, and these are memories I will cherish forever!"
Moulay Ahmed Aladlouni '23
"Although Moulay had never heard of Siena, I was committed to staying in touch. I knew he would be a great fit. With Moulay's mother being a guidance counselor, I knew attempting to impress would be difficult, however, she knew her son would thrive in an environment where he was a name and not a number. As a rising junior, he has certainly already done the International Programs office and me proud. When you look at Moulay's story you realize how one conversation on the other side of the globe can impact so much. I'm really grateful for my relationship with him and his family."
Lindsay King, associate director of international recruitment
Moulay is one of eight full-time tour guides leading weekday campus tours, and another 10 student guides fortify the staff on weekends. Each guide memorizes pages worth of campus statistics and information, but they often pull from their own personal experiences to connect with prospective students and families.
"Our tour guides are at the heart of everything we do. There's only so much the Admissions staff can do to recruit students - it's the tour guides who live and breathe what it means to be a Saint. Here's a recent quote from the mom of a prospective student who agrees. 'Every college needs a tour guide like Tasha Nugent '22. You hit a complete home run! She was INCREDIBLE!!'"
John Bond, associate director of admissions