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KU News Release

August 15, 2005
Contact: Emily Malin, Freshman-Sophomore Advising Center, (785) 864-2834

195 freshmen Mt. Oread Scholars invited to begin with walk up the hill Monday

LAWRENCE - The 2005-06 Mount Oread Scholars, a program for a select group of freshmen at the University of Kansas, have been invited to learn some campus history by taking a walk up the hill known as Mt. Oread (pronounced OR-ee-ad) at 8:30 a.m. Monday, Aug. 15.

The walk and upward direction symbolize the scholars' first year at KU and their preparation for their graduation goal of walking down the Hill. Each spring, thousands of graduating KU students make a processional march from the top of Mount Oread through the Memorial Campanile and down into Memorial Stadium for the commencement ceremony.

In previous years, the walk up the hill started an hour earlier, Mount Oread Scholars Program Director Emily Malin (pronounced Muh-leen), said. By starting at 8:30 a.m., Malin and others hope more of this year's 195 scholars will be able to join the walk that culminates with a stop for a continental breakfast at the Spencer Research Library.

During the short walk, James Carothers, professor of English, provides a commentary about campus history, pointing out landmarks along the way -- such as the Rock Chalk Cairn that once contained stones from Old North College, the first building on the KU campus. Neither Old North nor the stone pile exists today.

The dean of KU Libraries, Stella Bentley, will greet the students and invite them to learn more about all of KU's libraries as they enjoy a commanding view of the Kaw River Valley from the gallery of Spencer Research Library.

During the breakfast, scholars will be addressed by Senior Vice Provost Kathleen McClusky-Fawcett, Vice Provost Marlesa Roney and by an alum of the Mount Oread Scholar program. The scholars will receive a Jayhawk lapel pin compliments of the KU Alumni Association.

The KU Libraries house scores of internationally significant collections and offer a variety of innovative services to support learning. Spencer Research Library, for example, includes one of the best sports photo collections in the United States, many archival collections related to the history of Kansas and about 350,000 printed books from the 15th century to the 21st century.

Established in 1996, the program is only for freshmen. Entering freshmen are invited to become Mount Oread Scholars if they graduated in the top 20 percent of their high school class and received an ACT composite score of at least 28 or a minimum SAT score of 1,240.

Mt. Oread scholars may work individually with an adviser in their field of interest and may enroll in relatively small classes or be taught by veteran faculty. The program's retention rate of freshmen is above 90 percent.

The 2005-06 scholars are listed by home county and state online.

Mount Oread is the name given to the ridge above the Kaw River on Aug. 1, 1854, by New Englanders settling in Lawrence. They pitched camp on the ridge, naming it for an institute in Massachusetts that also occupied a commanding site overlooking its town. The word "oread" derives from Greek mythology and means "mountain nymph."


-- 8:30 a.m. Begin outside south end of Memorial Stadium near the scoreboard.
-- Proceed about halfway uphill and stop at the Rock Chalk Cairn, once a heap of limestones created in the 1920s through the efforts of the Omicron Delta Kappa honor society at KU for a torch-lighting ceremony that now is used in KU's Traditions Night ( 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 15, in Memorial Stadium).
-- Proceed to the north side of the campanile, stopping at the paved entrance to look over the Kaw River Valley and learn about the tradition for graduating seniors.
-- Proceed to the esplanade between Strong Hall and Spencer Research Library (main entrance level for both buildings).


The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus. | (785) 864-3256 | 1314 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045