Colgate’s diversity open house attracts high-achieving students

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Talented high school seniors visited Colgate’s campus Oct. 6–8 as part of the Colgate in Focus program offered by the Office of Admission. 

The 77 attendees, representing 18 states, are from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds, many of them first-generation and low-income, and face unique challenges in their pursuit of post-secondary education. 

“The obstacles some of these students face make them less likely to consider and enroll at colleges like Colgate,” said Jamiere Abney, associate dean of admission and coordinator of outreach for opportunity and inclusion. “Closing gaps in educational access for students from historically marginalized communities is essential, and it starts with ensuring that they have the chance to visit campus.” 

The special three-day, two-night experience went far beyond a traditional college visit, giving participants an in-depth look into life as a Colgate undergraduate. Programming included a welcome dinner with the campus community; various panels discussing student life, wellness, and career exploration and preparation opportunities; and class visits with current student hosts.

This year’s program coincided with a campus lecture from Anthony Jack, assistant professor of education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, whose research examines how class and culture shape the undergraduate experience and, in particular, highlights the experiences of low-income students with different pathways to elite colleges. 

“The themes presented by Prof. Jack are congruous with the ideals of diversity and inclusion we are seeking to highlight and develop through Colgate in Focus” said Abney. “To be able to engage them in Prof. Jack’s wit and rhetoric was ideal.”  

By the end of their visit, participants had a genuine student experience on which to reflect. “Colgate students and faculty love Colgate, and I really got that,” said Nattalie Gualdron from Boston, Mass. “I also appreciate Colgate’s emphasis on inclusivity and diversity, because, as a first-generation Latina student, it is so important to me when looking at school culture.”