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Alumni of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Project Uplift will gather this weekend to celebrate the program’s 45th anniversary.

Project Uplift enables high-achieving rising high school seniors to experience college life on the Carolina campus during the summer. The students spend two days visiting classes, meeting with faculty and staff, interacting with Carolina students and participating in cultural and social activities. UNC Diversity and Multicultural Affairs runs the program. It is designed for students from underrepresented populations, such as American Indians, African Americans, Hispanic/Latinos and Asian Americans, as well as prospective first-generation college students and individuals from rural areas.

“Thirteen years ago I attended a program that changed my life,” says Ada Wilson Suitt, director of Inclusive Student Excellence at UNC Diversity and Multicultural Affairs. “Project Uplift has played an incredible role in my educational, professional, personal and social development, and my story is not unique.”

The 45th anniversary celebration begins Friday (May 2) with a cultural show at the Sonja Haynes Stone Center Theatre that will feature performances by many Carolina student groups and organizations.

The celebration continues Saturday with a welcoming ceremony, a keynote address by Carolina alumnus Archie Ervin, testimonials from Project Uplift alumni and updates about the program. Ervin is the former associate provost for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs at UNC-Chapel Hill and is currently vice president for institute diversity at Georgia Institute of Technology.

UNC sophomore Angel Washington is a Project Uplift alumna who became a Project Uplift counselor and is the on-campus coordinator-elect.

“As a high school student I saw how much of a family PU staff was, and the effect they had on me was unbelievable. I knew I wanted to be standing on the other side,” Washington said. “PU 45 will be a time of celebrating 45 years of changing the lives of thousands of students.”

Read more about Project Uplift’s 45th anniversary.

Published May 2, 2014.