Universities’ Salute events strive to keep top students in Illinois

Robert Lane’s Salute to Academic Achievement role has changed since the early days of the prestigious event.
The Southland College Prep administrator shifted from student participant to school convener. He now rounds up students from south of Chicago to attend the event that celebrates the state’s most talented students from traditionally underrepresented communities and minority groups.
“There’s been a long-running tradition of some schools bringing a minibus of students. They’re always noticeable because they go to schools with uniforms,” said Julian Parrott, University of Illinois System senior assistant vice president for academic programs and partnerships.
“It turns out Robert is a University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign alumni who attended Salute to Academic Achievement years ago. Now, he puts in this additional effort every year to make sure more students get the most out of the event.”
Robust U of I System events and other interactions give students from historically underrepresented groups information and experiences to help them see how they’d fit in at U of I System universities in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield, as well as at the state’s other public universities.

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