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WTAMU president to visit every public and private high school in Texas Panhandle

Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 9:18 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Instead of college recruiters visiting high schools to talk with students, West Texas A&M University’s president is taking the time to visit every public and private high school in the top 26 counties of the Texas Panhandle to speak with students about their future.

Back in 2017, President Wendler embarked on the “Your Community, Your University” tour and he decided to launch it again to hear from students, give advice on what to do after high school and build relationships with schools around the Panhandle.

Now he’s set to start it again starting tomorrow.

“I decided I’m going to do that again because I believe those visits were useful and also to extend a welcome to students who might want to think about attending WT and other universities, not just WT,” said Walter V. Wendler, president of WTAMU.

Wendler said of the three largest freshman classes in the history of WT, two of them have been since he did the first tour.

“I think we’re getting more interest from our local schools, the schools in the Panhandle,” said Wendler.

“I go through a litany of things that can lead to noble and productive citizenship and a university has not mark cornered on that,” said Wendler.

Wendler said his goal is to help students develop a plan that works for them even if that means not attending a university.

“This is our president going into these high schools, you know, these aren’t recruiters like me going in. That’s my job, but we have our president who is taking the time to go out and talk with students about what their plan is. When we traveled the region in 2017, I had the opportunity to go with him. It was a buzz among students that a president of a university took the time to come in and talk with them,” said Jeffrey Baylor, associate vice president of enrollment at WTAMU.

WT said it’s even more important this year to do this type of recruitment as students lost that human contact this past year with the pandemic.

“I think that there’s a need for this to happen everywhere, all schools across the state and across the country. Again, I think it sends the message that he wants our kids there, that he believes that West Texas A&M is a good fit for many of our students and for those students who have other plans, he encourages them to case those dreams and go where they feel like will be the best fit for them. But, regardless of where they go, his message is his same about trying to do it in a very cost-effective way without borrowing a lot of money,” said Lynn Pulliam, superintendent at Canadian ISD.

Wendler said WT enrollment is down a little bit this semester and hopes this will help increase numbers for the future.

Tomorrow he will be at Randall, Amarillo and Tascosa High Schools for his first stops.

He will hit all 66 schools by October 29th.

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