Centre president invited to join educational summit in D.C.

Published 2:00 am Saturday, July 22, 2023


Centre College President Milton C. Moreland will be in Washington, D.C. later this month to take part in the National Summit on Educational Opportunity.

Moreland was invited to join other higher education administrators, advocates, student leaders, and civic and elected leaders at the summit “to share lessons learned and innovative strategies, and develop additional resources for colleges and students to expand access to educational opportunity,” the White House announced.

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The summit, which will be hosted by the U.S. Department of Education, was organized following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling striking down the use of race-conscious college admissions.

Moreland will be sharing how Centre College has become a national leader in college access and opportunity. In less than a decade, Centre has made significant investments in first-generation and Pell eligible student recruitment. Two key initiatives driving these gains are the Grissom Scholars Program and the Kessler Scholars Program.

“The Centre community is a testament to what bright, promising students can do when they are given a chance to excel at the highest level,” said Moreland. “Through generous philanthropy, Centre has not just provided access to these students, but offered key support structures to give them the best opportunity to succeed in college and forge a rewarding future.”

The Grissom Scholars Program, which was launched in 2015 and consists of full-tuition scholarships for first-generation students, helped Centre increase the first-gen enrollment rate from 8.9 percent in 2015 to 21 percent this year. Over that same time, the College has seen significant growth in Pell-eligible students, from 14.5 percent to 21.4 percent this year.

Like the Grissom Scholars, Kessler Scholars also receive mentoring and community support along with wrap-around funding to ensure access to crucial college experiences, like study abroad or research and internship opportunities. Starting in the fall, all first-generation students will have access to similar enrichment funds thanks to the Thrive Program, funded by an anonymous Centre donor.

This week, the Hearst Foundations announced a $100,000 grant for Centre to provide scholarships for low-income and first-generation students from underserved populations.

“For first-generation and Pell-eligible students, getting into college is half the battle,” said Moreland. “Their success hinges, in part, on factors outside the classroom. Our high-touch mentoring and support programs give them a great opportunity to truly thrive at Centre College.”

The National Summit on Educational Opportunity will take place Wednesday, July 26.