UA Alumni hold recruitment meeting

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

Prospective University of Alabama students got a sense of life on campus Tuesday night.

About 75 Dallas County high school students and parents gathered at the Striplin Performing Arts Centre for a meeting held by the Dallas-Wilcox chapter of the Alabama Alumni Association.

Guest speaker Robert Witt informed the attendees of the changes Alabama is going through to be a more student-friendly university.

“We want the best and brightest students,” Witt said. “I have a very inclusive definition of best and brightest. Of course that includes ACTs and test scores. But it also includes the character prospective students display. That shows there’s a place for them at the university.”

Witt said he knew the school was taking a step in the right direction when it opened its Honors College to more than 500 students in 2004. The students were among the top five percent in ACT scores in the country. A poll among them showed other schools they had been accepted to included Duke, Vanderbilt and several other well-known institutions.

Last fall, the school also opened its doors to a class of 3,700 freshmen that included 72 National Merit Scholars -one of the highest totals in the nation.

The local chapter has been holding this event for at least three years, according to Ronnie Leet.

“It’s a good way to get them together and get them familiar with the university,” Leet said.

Witt also said Alabama has made noticeable physical changes to the campus. Ten new buildings have been constructed in the past three years with six more to come. That included residence halls that Witt jokingly said were better than the president’s mansion.

In addition, half of the $299 million brought in from a recent fundraiser will be dedicated to the scholarship fund.

In his closing comments, Witt mentioned the university’s 175th birthday today.

He said if he had to choose any time to be the president at the school, now would be it.

And he reiterated the university’s dedication to progress.

“An education in many ways is an investment. A degree earned at the University of Alabama 10 to 15 years down the road will be worth even more.”