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Metro Newsroom

College Signing Day Celebration Set for May 31

Thursday May 29, 2014

Mayor Fischer declares Saturday “College Spirit Day”

55,000 Degrees, Louisville’s education movement, is joining forces with community partners to celebrate the commitment of Louisville high school students to earn their college degrees. All high school seniors pledging to go to college are invited to I’m Going to College 55K Signing Day.

“We’re committed to adding 55,000 more college graduates in the Louisville area by 2020,” said Mayor Greg Fischer, chairman of 55,000 Degrees. “Each high school senior making the decision to go to college is getting us one step closer to our goal, while putting themselves on the path to a brighter future.”

Mayor Fischer will take part in signing day festivities Saturday to recognize students’ hard work and dedication. The event is free and open to the public.

I’m Going to College 55K Signing Day

Saturday, May 31, 2:00-4:30 p.m.

Kentucky Center for African American Heritage

1701 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd.

Register in advance at or register on-site the day of the event, 1:00-2:00 p.m.

Mayor Fischer said this is an effort the entire community can support. He declared Saturday, May 31 “College Spirit Day.” Fischer is encouraging all residents to show their college spirit and support for students beginning their college careers by wearing t-shirts and other college apparel.

I’m Going to College 55K Signing Day is a day of celebration and a chance to connect college-bound students with key resources. Organizer DeWana Hadder is a first-generation college student who launched the I’m Going to College Pep Rally last year. “I wanted students to know the community supports their decision to go to college,” said Hadder. “Our community offers too many resources for students to feel they’re alone in their efforts. I want them to know we’re behind them and will be throughout their college journey.”

The pep rally evolved into a signing day event, with students signing a commitment to attend college and earn their degrees. “Deciding to go to college is a time of celebration for students,” said Mary Gwen Wheeler, 55,000 Degrees executive director. “Special recognition should extend to all students, not just athletes who capture headlines when signing letters of intent.”

Connecting with Resources

Several area colleges and universities are taking part in I’m Going to College 55K Signing Day, giving students a chance to connect with staff and other students before starting college. Efforts are designed to help prevent “summer melt,” seen when students enroll for college, but don’t attend in the fall. Nearly 20% of JCPS students who file a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) do not enroll in college in the fall.

Schools taking part in I’m Going to College 55K Signing Day include:

University of Louisville Sullivan University

University of Kentucky Spencerian College

Jefferson Community & Technical College Ivy Tech Community College

Bellarmine University Kentucky State University

Spalding University Murray State University

Indiana University Southeast Western Kentucky University

Fun and Food

Students taking part in I’m Going to College 55K Signing Day will be encouraged to use social media to share pictures and updates throughout the day, #ig2c.

A limited number of free t-shirts will be available to participants and door prizes will be offered, including several TARC Summer Youth Passes offering unlimited travel through August 31. Texas Roadhouse is providing free food.

Sponsors include 55,000 Degrees, I’m Going to College, 15K Degrees Initiative, Jefferson County Public Schools, Archdiocese of Louisville, KentuckianaWorks, Louisville Urban League, KHEAA and Louisville Metro Police Foundation.