MURRAY, Ky. — On Friday, Nov. 2, 68 eighth grade students from Calloway County Middle School visited Murray State University for the 36th annual College Day event.

The annual event is a collaborative effort between Murray State students in courses taught by Mike Gowen and Dr. Kelly Rogers, who are both professors in the nonprofit leadership studies program within the College of Education and Human Services. The annual day of activities is offered through the Calloway County Middle School’s Anchor Youth Services Center with assistance from Danielle Schwettman, the center’s coordinator.

“College Day is a great event for all involved,” Rogers said. “Eighth graders have a unique opportunity to spend the day on campus, walking in the footsteps of current students, while our Murray State students have the chance to plan, implement and evaluate a real special event.”

The day featured six unique programs that focused on stress management, archery, camping, hobbies, escape games and art.

The day’s theme was “Dunker and the Chocolate Factory” with students receiving their “Golden Ticket to College.” Students were first greeted by Dunker, the Murray State mascot, and walked through a giant inflatable “M” tunnel to begin their day.

Throughout the morning and afternoon, students had opportunities to take photos with Racer One in front of historic Carr Health Building and to dine with current Murray State students in Winslow Dining Hall. They learned important steps to being admitted to college and how to become successful students from Kendrick Quisenberry, assistant director of regional programs for the University’s recruitment office, and from Eve Kotter with Murray State’s Upward Bound program.

In addition to the various learning opportunities, students participated in photo contests and prize drawings. They also learned about iconic locations on the Murray State campus, including the Shoe Tree and Zen Garden.

“It was so much fun to watch these students get excited about attending college in the future, interacting with them as they shared their goals and dreams while watching them explore one of the finest universities in the state — one that just happens to be in their own backyards,” said Carol Brunn, coordinator for Murray State’s Town & Gown Partnership. “I know this investment will have a great impact for the students and for the University in the future.”

Event details were organized by nonprofit leadership studies students in the Department of Community Leadership and Human Services. The event’s primary sponsor was the Murray State Town & Gown Partnership with additional support provided by the Office of Recruitment, Dining Services & Racer Hospitality, University Bookstore, Racer Athletics and the Counseling Center.

College Day takes place each fall with the 2019 festivities planned for Nov. 1, 2019. Contact Rogers at 270-809-3144 or for more information about the annual event.

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