College Knowledge o’ the Day – May 25, 2021

The Most Interesting News of the Day in Higher Education (according to one person­)

Quincy College Graduates Each Receive $1,000 Gift 

Quincy College students received two envelopes at their commencement ceremony Friday. One envelope read “gift” and contained $500 for each student; the other envelope read “give” and held $500 for each student to gift to others. The funds came from commencement speaker Robert Hale, CEO of Granite Telecommunications. Gifts went out to the 490 graduates. He told the new graduates of the Massachusetts community college that he wanted to give them an opportunity to reward themselves after a difficult year but also a chance to give to those especially hard-hit by the pandemic.

3,000 Videos for 3,000 Students

Walter Wendler’s voice was still hoarse on Tuesday, days after he finished recording thousands of personalized videos for admitted students at West Texas A&M University. For weeks, Wendler squeezed recording sessions in between meetings and other appointments. From behind his desk, he watched a teleprompter slowly scroll through the names and desired majors of students who had been admitted to the public regional university in Canyon, Tex. Wendler completed 3,000 videos, each 16 seconds to 19 seconds long, over the course of 200 hours. He didn’t have a script, but most videos followed a similar format. Wendler has undertaken aggressive enrollment strategies before. In the spring of 2017 and the fall of 2019, he visited 130 Texas high schools across the state. During his tour he reached 20,000 students and traveled about 15,000 miles. “Universities have become, in some ways, bureaucratic brick walls,” Wendler said. “As you expose students to the university and talk about the institution and why they might be interested, I just think it’s got to be personal.”

Baylor Opens Door to Possible LGBTQ+ Student Group

The Board of Regents at Baylor University, a Baptist institution in Texas, approved a resolution last week that opens the door to possibly establishing a long-sought-after official LGBTQ+ student group on the campus. The board’s resolution “reaffirms” several “core commitments” of the university. These include the “biblical understanding that sexual relations of any kind outside of marriage between a man and a woman are not in keeping with the teaching of Scripture,” as well as Baylor’s commitments to “the dignity and worth of all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity” and “to providing a welcoming, supportive educational environment based on civility and respect for all.”

Can Coaching Bring Students Back to HBCUs?

The United Negro College Fund, an organization representing 37 private historically Black colleges and universities, recently launched a new initiative to bring 4,000 students back to HBCUs across the country to earn their degrees, aided by one-on-one coaching. The move mirrors other efforts by historically Black institutions to reclaim students who left, particularly amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected Black Americans at disproportionate rates in terms of infections and deaths, and led to job losses and other negative financial outcomes for low-income students and their families. More than 5 million Black Americans aged 25 and older have some college but no degree, according to Census data released in 2020.

Search a list of grants allocated to more than 5,000 colleges and universities

The Department of Education released details on relief funding and which students are eligible to receive emergency support. Examples from 3 universities I have been at the longest are below.

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