Presidentís Scholars Competition Day A Success

Manuel A. Esteban
On Saturday, February 21, some four hundred high school students and their parents from throughout the state braved driving rain and high winds to participate in President's Scholars Day on the Chico State campus. I instituted this competition three years ago to attract high-achieving students to Chico. The number of students who participated has grown from 110 the first year to 205 this year. High school students with a 3.7 high school gpa or above (or a 3.5 high school gpa and a 1200 combined SAT score or a 27 ACT composite score) who had applied and been accepted for admission to CSU, Chico by January 16 were invited to take part. While students were being tested on critical thinking and communication skills and problem solving abilities, their parents were taking tours of the campus, hearing about the Honors Program, and seeing various academic components of the campus. These included a glassblowing demonstration, the debate team, General Studies Thematic, the Survey Research Center, the Instructional Media Center, and Engineering's steel bridge competition members. Coupons from various businesses in downtown Chico were distributed to encourage the participants to visit local establishments and get to know our community.

Six $5000 scholarships and thirty $500 awards will be given based on competition results, high school activities, and a personal statement. This is a significant increase from the two large and twenty smaller awards we made the first year.
Zachary Whitten, 1996 Presidentís Scholar, talks
with competitor and her mother. (photo KM)

We have found in the past that 70 percent of those students who attend this competition day come to Chico, regardless of whether they receive a scholarship. The number dramatically demonstrates the importance of encouraging people to come to campus to see our beautiful environment and to meet the faculty and staff in person.

I want to give special thanks to the committee members that worked for a full year to create such a successful event: Carol Berg, Sara Armstrong, Caroline Aldrich, Judith Zachai, Terryl Murphy, Patty McDevitt, Pam Balch, Sue Hedrick, Kathleen McPartland, and Carol Edelman. We are already planning next year's competition, and we look forward to including more of the campus and Chico community in this event.

Manuel A. Esteban

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