By CAROLINE KIMBRO
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Marshall University President Jerry Gilbert’s venture to visit and speak with students from 16 high schools in seven West Virginia counties began Wednesday and will conclude Dec. 7. Former Marshall football coach Bob Pruett will join Gilbert on “The Rest of Your Life Begins at Marshall University” high school tour to meet with principals and speak at school assemblies.
Gilbert said West Virginia high school students need to know Marshall is an advantageous opportunity for those considering college options. He said Marshall offers students the same benefits as larger schools, at a location that allows in-state students to stay relatively close to home and still gain independence.
“Marshall University has so much to offer students, more than 100 top-quality educational programs, an accessible and beautiful campus located in America’s Best Community, Huntington, and about 230 recognized student organizations, just to name a few of the Marshall advantages,” Gilbert said. “We have something for every student, and students don’t have to travel hours away or spend money they don’t have to get an extraordinary educational experience.”
Ginny Painter, senior vice president of communications, said the primary aim of the trip is to connect with students and encourage as many as possible to choose Marshall. Painter said the university’s recruitment, admissions and communications offices have been developing an overarching marketing and recruitment plan to actively recruit students from within and outside of West Virginia.
“Data shows, of course, that West Virginia’s population of high school students is going to continue to fall for a number of years,” Painter said. “As that pool of prospective students shrinks, we have to capture as many in-state students as absolutely possible and increase our reach and recruiting efforts into strategic markets in neighboring states and beyond.”
Painter said Pruett will deliver a motivation message at schools about the potential Marshall drew out of him as a student-athlete, which inspired his role as a teacher and coach.
“No one knows what can be accomplished at Marshall University better than Coach Pruett,” Gilbert said. “He has witnessed firsthand what extraordinary things dedicated students can achieve at Marshall, and I am pleased he will join me on this tour to share his insight and inspiration directly with these high school students.”
Gilbert and Pruett will visit schools in Boone, Cabell, Jackson, Kanawha, Logan, Wayne and Wood counties. Marshall admissions staff will be present at each high school to collect applications and answer students’ questions.
The pair visited Raleigh County schools in September, and Marshall’s Office of University Communications said additional tour dates will be released in the coming weeks.
Caroline Kimbro can be contacted at [email protected]
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