CWRU welcomes special guest to campus Friday

As hundreds of prospective undergraduates arrive Friday for admissions open houses, Case Western Reserve also will host another special guest named MARV.

MARV, which stands for Mobile Automated Research Vehicle, is a retrofitted 1970s RV that tours the country, gaining insight into colleges and students and providing entertainment and prizes for prospective students, including videos, games and perhaps even a blast of confetti. MARV is the brainchild of Welcome to College, a web-based application that aims to help high school students find the right schools for them by helping them rank and organize their campus visit experiences.

MARV and Welcome to College representatives will be parked on the Kelvin Smith Library Oval Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“What’s neat about MARV is that it’s a completely self-aware vehicle that has a personality,” explained Justin Bayer, founder and CEO of Welcome to College. “He engages anybody that crosses his path—he’ll actually start asking prospective students questions about their college search or current students why they picked that school.”

MARV and Welcome to College are interested in finding out what makes each university special—and what prospective students think about the school. Welcome to College’s website,, gives high school students a place to share their college visit experiences with others or simply log notes about each visit to help ease the decision-making process.

Case Western Reserve University partners with Welcome to College to gain survey feedback from campus visitors. With this information, admissions officials can analyze responses from visitors, gauge the success of the university’s visit programs and make adjustments to improve experiences, said Jonathan Wehner, director of recruiting and strategic initiatives.

Wehner said he hopes the excitement MARV brings to campus—from his hydraulic “dancing” and confetti cannon to the interactive games and exciting videos—will make for a most memorable visit for prospective students.

“This is a week when prospective students and families often visit multiple schools in a week,” he said. “Anything we can do to help their visit to CWRU stand out will help us stay high on their list.”

For more information on MARV, visit