Over 300 TRiO Upward Bound alumni and staff members from across New England joined together on Nov. 8 at Boston University to celebrate 50 years of college preparation, aspirations and success at the Upward Bound 50th Anniversary Symposium. Since Upward Bound began in 1964 the program has motivated and tutored more than two million modest income and First Generation College bound Americans.
Upward Bound participants are three times more likely to complete a college degree than those who did not participate in college access services, according to the Pell Institute. Upward Bound notable alumni include actress Viola Davis, journalist John Quinones, DNC vice chairwoman Donna Brazille, and the NBA's Patrick Ewing among many others.
Attendees reflected on the history of Upward Bound which has its roots in President Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty. Stan Sallet, author and one of the original program architects, shared his experiences in the creation of this program and was joined a panel of eminent speakers including Dr. Arnold Mitchum, President Emeritus of the Council for Opportunity in Education, and Dr. Elizabeth McCue-Herlihy, one of the original student participants at the Upward Bound program at the University of Maine. Many other notable speakers and participants had the chance to share their stories and speak about the current state of access to higher education. These speakers included educators, alumni, business leaders and regional politicians.
The event was hosted by Boston University and made possible through sponsorship by the New World Foundation, the American Student Assistance, the New England Educational Opportunity Association, and the Massachusetts Educational Opportunity Association. The Lyndon State College Upward Bound program, which has been a part of the LSC campus community since 1980, was represented at the event by 15 alumni whose participation in the program spans nearly 20 years. These alumni graduated from high school in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and the North Country of New Hampshire and have gone on to earn college degrees and advanced degrees, and pursue careers in a variety of exciting fields.