SPRINGFEST Minority Recruitment Weekend Brings Best and Brightest High School Juniors to Campus for a Weekend to Love Purple and Live Gold

05/05/2014 10:24 AM

BATONG ROUGE – High-achieving minority students from across the state of Louisiana assembled at LSU from April 25–27 for an opportunity to talk with administrators, tour the campus and gain additional insight into campus life.

SPRINGFEST is an event that exposes academically astute high school juniors to all the academic rigors, leadership opportunities and social experiences available at LSU. The selected students are invited to LSU for a weekend of fun and exciting activities that highlight LSU’s academic curriculum and resources available as an LSU student.


SPRINGFEST has been in existence since 2002 and was originally conceptualized as a program primarily for African-American Students.  Over the years this program has grown from hosting 50 students to being able to host up to 100 students and is open to all ethnic minority students who meet the program’s requirements.  Applicants are asked to have maintained a 3.5 grade-point average, or GPA, and should have already taken the ACT or SAT. In addition to their GPAs and test scores, students are selected based on their high school involvement, recommendation letters and essay response. This holistic approach allows the LSU Office of Multicultural Affairs, or OMA, to take into account each student’s experiences and likelihood of being a successful college student.

During SPRINGFEST weekend, the high school students are guided by current LSU students or “team leaders” who applied, interviewed and were selected by staff members from OMA and the SPRINGFEST executive board. This board is comprised of students who have previously served as team leaders or have worked on other programs and initiatives sponsored by OMA.  

This year, the SPRINGFEST executive board was led by Shakilya Gauthier, accounting senior; Chenice Samuel, management junior; Kristian Black, biochemistry junior; Morgan Decuir, elementary education junior; and student coordinator Lekendra Fusilier, petroleum engineering senior. Having student team leaders provides the high school students with mentors who can share their experiences of being an LSU Tiger.

Once the high school participants, called SPRINGFEST VIPs, arrive at LSU they are assigned to a team. Each team of students is identified by LSU icons, such as the A.P. Tureaud team, Maxine Crump team, Mayor Melvin “Kip” Holden team, Donna Brazile team and Shaquille O’Neil team. Each high school student receives a bio on their particular LSU icon and the trail blazed by that person in LSU history.

Students participating in SPRINGFEST are lodged in the Lod Cook Hotel and experience a weekend full of activities including informational sessions on how to apply to LSU and how to apply for financial aid, a Q-and-A with current LSU students, a college department and student organization fair and a campus tour.  

In addition to exploring the academic resources available at LSU, VIPs experience dining at the Tiger Lair and have a late night movie that is shown in the Live Oak Lounge located in the Student Union.  The VIPs even get to participate in the SPRINGFEST prom. Similar to a high school prom, the women wear their best semi-formal dresses and the men dress in suits. During SPRINGFEST prom VIPs are treated to a nice meal in the LSU Student Union Cotillion Ballroom and dance the night away with music provided by a DJ. No prom is complete without the crowing of king and queen and SPRINGFEST prom is no different. Each team elects one prom king and queen whose transformation throughout the weekend has shown that they truly Love Purple and Live Gold.  

“I really enjoyed prom, the student panel, and everything else that SPRINGFEST offered. LSU is now my top choice for college! I would recommend sophomores at my high school to apply to this program next year,” said VIP participant Viche’ Stevenson from St. Mary’s Dominican High School.   

Most high school juniors already have a few universities that they may be considering, however SPRINGFEST provides a unique opportunity to experience all that LSU has to offer which may be a deciding factor when selecting where a student choses to attend.  

"Overall, I was scared to be here on LSU's campus. However, that changed after SPRINGFEST weekend. I was able to see the opportunities that LSU had to offer for me. I was able to feel how I can experience features of a Historically Black Colleges and Universities at a predominantly white institution. LSU is definitely my top choice now," said VIP participant Tania Dixon from St. Mary’s Dominican High School.

At the conclusion of the weekend, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and Student Aid hosts a “Parent Panel” for parents to learn more information about LSU. This year’s panel included a representative from the Department of Residential Life, LSU Honors College, First Year Experience/Orientation, a student representative and opened with an official welcome provided by Kenneth Miles, interim vice provost for equity, diversity & community outreach.   

For more information on the SPRINGFEST Minority Recruitment Weekend, please contact LSU’s Office of Multicultural Affairs at 225-578-4339.

Ernie  Ballard 
LSU Media Relations

Posted on Monday, May 5, 2014