College Counseling Office Takes Students to Boston for Long Winter Weekend College Trip

By Luke Stone ’20

After a successful trip to Philadelphia last winter, the school once again offered a Long Winter Weekend College Tour, this time to Boston. College Counselors Mr. Dave Mabe and Ms. Catherine Box took a group of sixteen students to check out schools, meet with recent alumni, and get to know one of America’s college centers.

The city contains more than fifty colleges and universities. During their four-day trip, Woodberry students got a chance to visit six of them, Harvard, MIT, Tufts, Northeastern, Boston College, and Boston University.

After arriving on Saturday, the boys had a brief period of downtime before their first unofficial campus visit. They took the T to Cambridge, explored Harvard, then ate dinner with alumnus John Moore ’06, a current Harvard Business School student. Following the meal, they attended a basketball game between Harvard and Yale at Lavietes Pavilion.


The group stopped near Harvard Square to get a photo with Khalid Thomas ’18 before lunch.

The following morning, the group returned to Harvard where alumnus Khalid Thomas ’18, a first-year student, gave them a late-morning tour. In the afternoon, the boys headed to MIT, where they had an official tour, accompanied by Sloan Business School student Myles Wynn ’05. After the tour, they spoke with undergraduate student and alumnus Efose Oriaifo ’17.


They returned to the hotel in time to watch the hometown New England Patriots play in the Super Bowl. At halftime of the game, Mr. Mabe and Ms. Box hosted the second annual Long Winter Weekend College Trip Trivia Challenge, where Team Dunkin’ Donuts (Luke Stone ’20, Hieu Pham ’20, John Meeks ’21, and Gia Khanh “GK” Do ’21” blew the competition out of the water and won $20 each to spend at the college bookstore of their choice.

Following the game and a long day, the boys went back to their hotel rooms and watched hordes of jersey-clad Bostonians flood into the streets to celebrate the Patriots’ Super Bowl victory in Boston Common and Boston Public Garden.


Saeed Abokor ’18 took a moment to share some thoughts on his college transition with the boys in the student center at Tufts.

On Monday morning, they ventured to Tufts University, a small private school that inhabits parts of Somerville and Medford, for their first information session and tour before briefly speaking with first-year student Saeed Abokor ’18 in the Student Center. After lunch in Davis Square in Somerville, they rode the T back into the city for a tour and information session at Northeastern University. Following the visit, they had lunch with first-year student Chase Francis ’18 in the Curry Student Center.


Then, the boys perpetuated another Long Winter Weekend College Trip tradition: taste-testing two rival food ventures. They compared cheesesteaks at Pat’s and Gino’s in Philadelphia last year and cannolis from Mike’s Pastry and Modern Pastry, two warring North End Italian bakeries, this year. Joining them was another alumnus and Harvard Business School student Spencer Frantz ’08. The consensus on the cannolis was that Mike’s had the better shell while Modern boasted a better filling.


Spencer Frantz ’08 met the group for dessert at Modern Pastry in the North End.


Chase Francis’ 18 had dinner with the group in Northeastern’s Curry Student Center.

The following morning, the students had a tour and information session at Boston College in Chestnut Hill before returning to the city proper to visit Boston University, the largest school featured on the tour. After battling more-crowded-than-usual public transportation due to the Patriots’ Victory Parade, the students arrived at the airport, grabbed dinner, and flew back to Richmond.


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