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Colgate in Focus: A Diversity Open House

Each year we select a talented group of high school seniors from underrepresented backgrounds to participate in an open house. This Colgate tradition is a special opportunity to experience campus life.
Academic quad in the fall

About the Open House

October 15–17, 2017

Colgate University students are challenged to see themselves honestly and critically within a global and historical perspective. A Colgate education is also designed to inspire students to be engaged citizens and to strive for a just society. These two specific aims within the "13 Goals of a Colgate Education" are exemplified at our annual Colgate in Focus open house.

This program invites a talented group of high school seniors who have overcome significant challenges in their journey to pursue post-secondary education to our campus to gain insight into the Colgate experience first-hand.

We encourage students who identify as low-income, first-generation, or other traditionally underrepresented backgrounds to apply. The diversity open house will provide you with a greater understanding of the Colgate experience. You will meet current students, faculty, and staff, attend a class, tour the campus, and stay overnight in a residence hall, all while participating in activities that highlight the diversity of Colgate's student organizations.

Applications for Colgate in Focus must be submitted by Friday, September 8. We will review applications and provide decisions on a rolling basis beginning in late July.

Applications are now closed for 2017. If your attempt to apply for Colgate in Focus has been impacted by recent storms or fires, please contact us in the Office of Admission and we will be happy to work with you on a solution.

Keynote Speaker

Javier Calvo Mendoza ’12

Javier Calvo Mendoza '12Javier Calvo Mendoza was born in Madrid, Spain and grew up in San Salvador, El Salvador. While at Colgate University, Javier studied economics and political science, graduating Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 2012. He currently resides in Chicago, Illinois.

During his time at Colgate, Javier was very active in the community. Javier served as a Residential Advisor; president of the Latin American Student Organization; member of Colgate's radio station, WRCU; and volunteered at Colgate's Max A. Shacknai Center for Outreach, Volunteerism, and Education.
Learn more about Javier
Javier works as a product manager at McMaster-Carr Supply Co., where he works with diverse teams to develop features and applications to improve the customer experience. He has a particular interest in the role that empathy plays in the design of user experiences both on and offline.

In addition to work, he is currently pursuing his MBA at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business with a concentration in Marketing and Statistics. Before taking a break to focus on school, Javier volunteered with Minds Matter Chicago, a nonprofit organization that works to place high school students from low-income, minority backgrounds in leading 4-year colleges.

Outside of work and school, Javier has been active in Chicago's running and amateur hockey scenes, making the best out of every season the city has to offer. Javier is also a member of Colgate's President's Club and the 1819 Circle, two campus societies that recognize alumni giving.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply?
An application helps us select students who will take full advantage of their campus visit. Space is limited, and we are only able to invite students who are seniors in high school. We will review and provide decisions for open house applications on a rolling basis beginning in late July, so it is possible to receive earlier notification by submitting your application before the deadline.

Required application materials:
  • Colgate in Focus application (submitted online)
  • High school transcript (submitted by counselor, including grades 9-11)
  • Colgate in Focus application essay: "On the first day of class at Colgate, your professor asks you to write an autobiography. What does the opening paragraph say?" (300 word maximum)
  • Standardized test scores (SAT or ACT scores, sent from test agency or from counselor)
How do I get there?
Colgate University is located in Hamilton, N.Y., nestled in the gorgeous Chenango Valley. Because of our rural location, visitors often find it convenient to use our directions to campus.

Travel assistance is available for students who demonstrate a need. Priority will be given to those who would not otherwise have an opportunity to visit campus.
What will I do?
Students will have the opportunity to participate in a class, tour campus, meet members of the Colgate community, and spend the night in a residence hall with a student host. Previous events have also included panels on career and post-graduate preparation, application workshops, and evening activities. You can view the complete schedule of events (PDF).
How much free time will I have?
Your two days at Colgate will be full of activities including information sessions and panel discussions, campus tours, classes, and several events sponsored by Colgate’s diverse student groups. While the schedule will keep you busy, time can be made to pursue a specific interest.
Can my parent(s), family member, or guardian come?
We invite your parent(s), family member, or guardian to come and experience Colgate campus life as well. Special events are planned specifically for guests including a dinner, campus tour, and open visiting hours with our financial aid office.
Where will my parent(s), family member, or guardian stay?
There are a number of lodging options in the immediate and greater Hamilton area available for parents. Please visit our list of lodging options as a reference. Guests should make reservations ahead of time.

Resources are available to assist guests with their accommodations. Please call the Office of Admission for more information at 315-228-7401.
If I have already visited Colgate, should I come for the Colgate in Focus program?
Yes. While campus visits provide valuable information and an overview of the Colgate experience, our Colgate in Focus provides a unique opportunity to interact with diverse organizations within our university community and become familiar with many resources available to Colgate students. Most importantly, it is an opportunity to experience campus life. Try Colgate on for size and determine if it is a good fit for you.

For more information, please contact the Office of Admission at 315-228-7401 or via e-mail at