The University of Kansas Alumni Association and the KU Endowment honored 39 Dodge City High School seniors at a dinner held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 2, at the Dodge House Hotel.
The students were part of a selection of 71 high school seniors chosen across Clark, Comanche, Ford, Gray, Hodgeman, Kiowa, Mead and Ness counties. According to KU Senior VP for Communications Jennifer Sanner, students were selected for academic achievement and typically ranked in the top ten percent of their class.
“The honors program began in 1971 and it was really an effort by the KU Alumni Association to honor academic excellence throughout the state,” Sanner said.
It was not required that students plan on attending KU to receive the honor. At the ceremony, students were issued a certificate along with a Webster’s New College Dictionary. Dr. Bernie Kish, director of facilities & lecturer for the School of Education at the University of Kansas, spoke to those in attendance.
Dodge City High School honorees included Alexis Altamirano.
“I feel very honored because I wanted to go to KU since I was little so it’s kind of a big deal for me,” Altamirano said.
Altamirano plays basketball for the high school and is also involved in band and student council.
“I’m a really big fan of [KU’s] sports, especially basketball, and they have a good music program and since I’m involved in band a lot it was something I was looking at,” Altamirano added.
Also honored from Dodge City High School was Edith Real. Real is on the debate team and plays cross country and soccer.
Though all of the honorees may not choose to attend KU, Sanner said that the honor represents something greater than the university.
“The association has always tried to stay connected with Kansas communities,” Sanner said. “… Regardless of where students might choose to go, we want to acknowledge their talent and achievements.”