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Jan. 13, 2006
Contact: Lisa Pinamonti Kress, Office of Admissions and Scholarships, (785) 864-5421.

Officials hope to attract multicultural students to KU with ‘Roadshow’

LAWRENCE — The Office of Admissions and Scholarships at the University of Kansas will be taking its show on the road this month to show that KU is a welcoming place for multicultural students. The Multicultural Roadshow will be visiting schools and civic groups Jan. 23 and 24 and hosting evening receptions from Jan. 30 through Feb. 1.

Staff will visit schools in Wichita, Topeka and Kansas City, Kan., on Jan. 23 and 24. The first set of stops will feature presentations and “drop offs” for multicultural students. The drop offs will include bags containing information about KU, its programs and majors, as well as general KU merchandise. Stops in Wichita will include West High School, North High School, Mayberry Middle School and Horace Mann Middle School. Topeka visits will include Highland Park High School, Hope Street Charter Academy and Chase Middle School. In Kansas City, Kan., KU staff will visit Turner High School and Argentine Middle School.

Kerri Lesh, an admissions counselor and coordinator of the events, said KU staff will be making presentations to students on how to prepare for college, earn scholarships and afford college. Baby Jay will be along for the trips to middle schools.

“That’s always very popular,” Lesh said of Baby Jay’s visits.

The roadshow will also visit civic groups such as the Kansas Hispanic and Latino American Affairs Commission and the Kansas African-American Affairs Commission. It will also visit youth groups such as Girl Scout troops, Boy Scout troops and Big Brothers and Big Sisters groups.

The second week of events will feature evening receptions, the first being from 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 30 with a family of KU alumni and Wichita natives — Genine Huff-Ware, Tamara Huff and Donisha Ross — speaking at Wichita East High School. The next reception will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 31 with Reuben Perez, assistant dean and director of KU’s Student Involvement and Leadership Center, speaking at Topeka High School. The final reception is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 1 at Washington High School in Kansas City, Kan., with KU grad and Kansas City, Kan., native Cheryl Snorgrass speaking.

Admissions and Scholarships notified students of the events a few weeks in advance.

“We’re sending out postcards to invite students to the event and posters are being mailed to high schools,” said Lisa Pinamonti Kress, director of admissions and scholarships.

Efforts to recruit and retain multicultural students have proven successful in recent years. For the fall 2005 semester, minority enrollment was 3,537 students, a 3.4 percent increase over 2004, the highest minority enrollment on record. The retention rate of African-American freshmen from 2004 to 2005 was 82.1 percent, the highest one-year rate on record.

For more information or to register for a Multicultural Roadshow, visit www.admissions.ku.edu/roadshow.

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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.

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