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Linda Mah
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Bronco Buds Encourage Success

WMU Program Introduces Sixth Graders to College Life

More than 1,000 Kalamazoo Public Schools sixth graders visited Western Michigan University in March as part of the Bronco Buds program, which introduces students to college life during a daylong campus visit.

This was the eighth year of students touring the campus as part of the program, which was started in 2009 by WMU President Dr. John Dunn and WMU Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Dr. Martha Warfield.

During the visit, students heard from WMU student representatives, and toured the campus to see residence halls, classrooms and the student recreation center. The day also included lunch on campus.

Dunn welcomed Milwood Middle School students to campus on March 23 and encouraged them to make the most of the day. “This is a day that is planned to help you think carefully and critically about you and your future,” he said. “You represent our future. There is an excitement and vibrancy and intellect and creativity you bring to the university and your school. We’re very, very pleased to have you here.”

KPS Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice also offered a greeting to the students, reminding them that the visit was a unique opportunity. No other university plays host to so many
local school children each year, he said.

“You are here because Western Michigan University believes in your ability to graduate from high school and to become part of this college or some other college or university,” Rice said. “Western Michigan University believes in Kalamazoo Public School students, and KPS believes in your capacity to be successful here.”

This will be the last year of the program under the guidance of Dunn, who retires in June after 10 years at the helm of Western.

“Today is about you and your success,” Dunn said. “I assure you that Dr. Rice’s and your teachers’ and your principals’ thoughts every morning are about you and what they can do to make you successful. We have about 24,000 students here at Western, and every day I wake up thinking what I can do to help young people continue on their path to success too.”
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