Archive for Thursday, May 3, 2012

KU doesn’t look far from nest for next group of Jayhawk scholars

Kansas University Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, center, hosted a reception for outstanding Lawrence students on Thursday at Spooner Hall, encouraging them to enroll at their hometown university.

Kansas University Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, center, hosted a reception for outstanding Lawrence students on Thursday at Spooner Hall, encouraging them to enroll at their hometown university.

May 3, 2012


Kansas University rolled out its red carpet to “townies” on Thursday, inviting top academic performers from Lawrence’s high schools to join KU’s chancellor, other KU and civic leaders, and KU students from Lawrence in the hopes of enticing some of the potential recruits to stick around Lawrence when they choose a college.

Students performing in the top 20 percent of their sophomore or junior class at Lawrence High, Free State, Veritas Christian School and Bishop Seabury Academy were invited to KU’s Spooner Hall for some food, mingling and an opportunity to hear about how KU markets itself to students in the city they all share.

It was a new event for KU, and about 300 people, including about 100 high school students, took the university up on the offer. KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said the university already enrolled about 1,200 students from Lawrence.

“I think we’ve kind of taken it for granted” in the past that students from Lawrence would find their way to KU, Gray-Little said. “We want to make sure you always feel welcome.”

After the speeches, many of the high school students said the messages they heard from the university students there were what really stuck with them. For their part, the university students did their best to dispel the notion that coming to KU would feel just like moving to a new school down the block.

“Going to KU is like living on another planet,” said Libby Johnson, a KU senior who attended Lawrence High School and who served as KU’s student body president this past year.

“And then when you need to get your laundry done, your old home is really not that far away,” she added later.

Those sentiments seemed to match the concerns that several in the audience expressed about KU.

“It’s not that I hate it here,” said Zoe Reed, a junior from Lawrence High School. “I love it here.”

But still, she said, there’s that desire to blaze a new trail and experience new things. She’s still leaving her college options open for now, but she liked what she heard the students say Thursday.

Logan Bannister, a Free State junior, probably didn’t need too much convincing. He’s considering Stanford and KU, but admits he’s “always wanted” to go to KU.

“I wanted to stay in Lawrence, but I don’t want to have the same experience,” he said. “Hearing that from the Lawrence students was really encouraging.”


overthemoon 6 years, 1 month ago

Over the several years, Stanford has gotten 35000 applications for a class of 1500. Keep the options open.

kinder_world 6 years, 1 month ago

A picture of LHS students. And, um, KU is a good, and, um, school to, and um, attend, and um. And "I have something to, and um, to say, and um, to you guys." And um, so the talks, and um, went, from the graduating, and um, KU - from Lawrence, and um, graduates.

kinder_world 6 years, 1 month ago

And um, really was not so much about "In Recognition of Your Outstanding Academic Achievement" as stated in invitation. Just check out KU thing.

fearsadness14 6 years, 1 month ago

As a Lawrence kid about to graduate from a small liberal arts college 7 hours north, I can say that I'm astonishingly emphatic about getting the heck out of Lawrence for college. Whenever I come home, all of my old friends have roughly the same circle of friends. What's worse is they all live together, and their experiences can't even compare to mine both from a curricular and extra-curricular standpoint. Lawrence is a heck of a place to grow up and to raise a family, but if you don't get out while you can, you have no idea what you're missing. Plus, getting away from home is the most integral part about growing up. Moving 10 minutes from home doesn't count, either. I'm glad to see KU recruiting the locals a bit more. I graduated in the top 5% of my class, and they gave me nothing special. Lawrencians, be sure to shop around! Don't settle!

overthemoon 6 years, 1 month ago

My daughter went to KU. She very intentionally made new friends and learned to make the best of being in her last choice school. As it turned out, it was a fabulous experience with several study abroad opportunities, internships and independent travel. Not the same as had she gone elsewhere, but in retrospect she is very proud and not the least apologetic for taking the Watkins Berger scholarship and graduating with less loan to pay off for 4 years than she would have had for one year at the schools she had aspired to. And she got a job in a great city doing what she wants to do. With a degree in a liberal arts discipline.

livinginlawrence 6 years, 1 month ago

One shouldn't settle, that's for sure.

However, one also shouldn't write off their local university simply because it's nearby, especially in light of the current economic climate and the potential for interest rates on student loans to go up.

livinginlawrence 6 years, 1 month ago

Also, to address your point about your old friends' curricular and extra-curricular experiences and how they compare to your own--

Your experiences in college reflect, more than anything else, what you make of your time in school. As do many other institutions of higher learning, the University of Kansas offers a plethora of opportunities to become highly engaged, within the realm of academics as well as countless other facets of life. The fact that your old friends failed to branch out in no way means that doing so is impossible.

equalaccessprivacy 6 years, 1 month ago

KU and Lawrence--the ultimate measures of sophistication. If this is what so-called"education" has sunk to post 9/ 11, I don't want any.

Terry Sexton 6 years, 1 month ago

You're more succinct yet still annoying.

Terry Sexton 6 years, 1 month ago

What a marvelous picture of grace & intelligence & youth & opportunity. Best wishes to these inspirational youngsters whatever they may decide.

PennyBrite 6 years, 1 month ago

Really disturbing how many times they said "um" or "uh" not just one of the ku students but all of the ones who spoke at this event. I hope someone taped their speeches and can help them . It was incredibly distracting.

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