MINNEAPOLIS - Augsburg College is located in the heart of Minneapolis in one of the most diverse zip codes in the city. Now their graduating class reflects that diversity.
Under President Paul C. Pribbenow's leadership, the college has more than tripled the percentage of minorities in the full undergraduate body. In 2006, there were 11 percent compared to 33 percent in 2016.
"We started working 15 years ago with the college readiness program, College Possible with the Page Education Foundation. We really focused on how we could help first generation students of color think about college as a possibility," said Pribbenow.
That has certainly worked for new graduate Robert Harper, 22. Harper is the first in his family to graduate from college. He juggled a full load of credits with playing football and singing in the choir. Harper maintained a 3.2 GPA and is now working at the Minnesota State Capitol.
"I sat down in the chairs at graduation, and I looked around and said, wow, like half of our graduation class are people are color," said Harper.
This year's graduating class had more than 42 percent students of color. The Class of 2016 held graduation on April 30.