Chuck Bachman, senior associate director of admissions, received the Delwin K. Gustafson Recognition Award at the 2012 Pennsylvania Association for College Admissions Counseling (PACAC) Annual Conference at Penn State this June.
The award is given annually to a member of PACAC for dedicated service to students, the profession, and the association. Named in honor of the longtime Gettysburg College admissions director, it is the association’s highest honor and usually awarded to a member who has given substantial and continuous service.
Bachman is entering his 14th year in admissions at Lafayette; he has worked as an admissions officer for 28 years. Calling it the only career he’s ever known, Bachman loves the dynamic campus environment. One of his favorite things to do is speak with high school students; he’s spoken at numerous events across the country, including college search kickoff events, panels, and case study programs. He says his best and most sincere advice is a refreshing change of pace from the usual fare students and parents expect to hear from admissions staff.
“I challenge them to keep the college search in perspective, to spend the year not as college applicants, but as high school seniors,” he says. “The college search should be a part of senior year, not the be all and end all or life and death. Students need to not take themselves too seriously, enjoy being a senior, laugh, enjoy their time with their friends, and also complete the college search process. Every student will do just fine in this process, and it is crucial they remember that their self worth, their self value, is never ever measured by which colleges did or did not offer them admission.”
Over the years, Bachman says, many students and their parents have shared with him that they greatly appreciated hearing that message from a college admissions officer.
Aside from guiding high school students through the often stressful college application process, Bachman enjoys working with his colleagues each year to build a class that not only will benefit from the opportunities on College Hill but will make Lafayette better through their own contributions. It is rewarding for him to see students he helped recruit flourish at the college level and become impactful members of the campus community.
While Lafayette enjoyed a record-breaking applicant pool for the Class of 2016, Bachman acknowledges that each year brings new challenges. The cost of a private college education continues to be a real concern for many families, and social media and technology have changed the college search process rapidly, making it increasingly important to find innovative ways to make Lafayette stand out amid the deluge of college information available.
That constant flux makes it critical for Bachman to continue his professional development. An active member of PACAC, Bachman was the association’s president in 2005, and has chaired the Membership and Professional Development Committees. He is a yearly presenter at the PACAC Annual Conference and a member of the PACAC Past Presidents Advisory Committee, and is now serving as a mentor to the chair of the 2013 PACAC Annual Conference.
Bachman also has served on the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) State and Regional Presidents Council and NACAC Fund Development Committee, and chaired the State and Regional Presidents Council’s Rising Star Committee. He has presented on several occasions at the NACAC Annual Conference. He also served on the Local Arrangements Committee that brought the 2006 NACAC Annual Conference to Pittsburgh.
“I have learned so much from my friends and colleagues over the years, and I hope I have contributed in some small way to their professional development,” he says. “I encourage my colleagues at Lafayette to pursue professional development opportunities, and we are fortunate to have leadership that values professional development as an investment. I am invigorated by the energy of the young people entering this profession, including several here at Lafayette, and the profession needs that energy to serve as advocates for the students they work with.”