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University President Drew G. Faust traveled to Philadelphia over spring break to speak at Philadelphia High School for Girls, commonly known as Girls’ High, about the importance of higher education.
Faust, who stopped by Philadelphia to watch the men’s basketball team play in the Ivy League Tournament, urged students at Girls’ High to work towards a college education, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“You have extraordinary gifts, and I encourage you to share those gifts by continuing your education—and building on them to reach out more broadly to wider worlds and new places, educating others as you educate yourselves and build your futures,” Faust told the students.
At the event, Faust also spoke about efforts to make higher education more accessible to a diverse set of students, noting Harvard’s push to admit students from “different kinds of economic and social backgrounds.”
She said, however, that there are still “opportunities that are less open to some people than to others” in higher education, even among universities like Harvard, Princeton, and Yale.
“This is why America’s colleges and universities need you. We want your ambition; we want your talent; we want your ideas. We want your energy and your commitment,” Faust said. “And we need what only you can bring to our campuses: perspectives that will influence everyone around you, just as they will influence you.”
After the event, Faust told reporters she hoped the visit would encourage the students to “pursue their dreams.”
“It was also an effort to say I notice you, I notice you have talent and that you have possibility, and to reinforce in any way I could their commitment to their own talent and possibility,” she said.
Faust’s visit to Girls’ High marked the most recent stop on her speaking series at high schools across the country. In January, Faust surprised students at a Cincinnati public high school. She has also made the case for higher education in Dallas in 2014 and Miami in 2017.
In addition to visiting the high school and attending the Ivy League basketball tournament—where the Crimson fell to Penn and lost a slot in the NCAA Tournament—Faust also spoke at a reception for Philadelphia-based alumni.
—Staff writer Kristine E. Guillaume can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @krisguillaume.
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