photo of people looking at the Upward Bound 50th Anniversary historical display

The Upward Bound program demonstrates that, with passion, commitment, and focus, Michigan State can contribute to ensuring a better future for all of our students, the citizens of Michigan, the nation, and the world.

Congratulations to the Michigan State University Upward Bound team, and Director Ms. Glenda Hammond, on their 50th anniversary celebration held this past weekend (Aug. 19-21, 2016)!

Upward Bound is a U.S. Department of Education funded program that originated with the federal Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. President Johnson explained that the act was needed “to eliminate the paradox of poverty on the midst of plenty in this nation by opening…. To everyone… the opportunity for education and training, the opportunity to work, and the opportunity to live in decency and dignity.” The MSU program began with federal funding in 1966. It fulfills President Johnson’s vision by providing college readiness enrichment and supplemental activities to Lansing students (beginning in the ninth grade) who come from low socioeconomic backgrounds and/or would be the first in their families to attend college.

Our program has an outstanding record of graduates, with more than 95% of its seniors typically graduating on time and being accepted to college. The Upward Bound program demonstrates that, with passion, commitment, and focus, Michigan State can contribute to ensuring a better future for all of our students, the citizens of Michigan, the nation, and the world.

Ms. Hammond is the third director of the MSU program. She has ably led it for 35 years, and has chosen to retire this fall. A search for her successor is nearly complete, and the new director will be named shortly. Ms. Hammond has graciously agreed to collaborate with her successor on the renewal grant application for the program – and, while we will miss her at MSU, we know she will leave the program in a strong position to continue its extraordinary success. You can hear an interview with Ms. Hammond, and with Upward Bound alumna and NSSC Advisor Debra Thornton, about this amazing program here.

As part of the 50th anniversary celebration, the Upward Bound program created an exhibit which was displayed at the front of the MOSAIC multicultural unity center on the second floor of the MSU Union during the anniversary celebration events. The display focused on four topics: education, social justice, community, and culture – and featured pictures, memorabilia, and quotes representing the programs’ activities over five decades.

Feedback and suggestions, especially from the MSU community, welcome: email sekhar@msu.edu.

R. Sekhar Chivukula is the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education and Dean of Undergraduate Studies at Michigan State University.