Upward Bound, first U.S. program to assist students escape poverty through higher education, celebrates 50 years

July 17, 2014

FOND DU LAC, Wis. – Upward Bound, the country’s first federal program to prepare low-income students for college, is celebrating 50 years of helping high school students go from poverty to the middle class through higher education.  

Since Upward Bound began in 1964 as a key element of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty, the program has motivated and tutored low income students from families where neither parent holds a degree.

The Upward Bound Math and Science (UBMS) program at Marian University provides college and career readiness services during both the academic year and the summer to Fond du Lac area high school students. This year, the program’s summer component began on June 16. The program participants get to attend classes and workshops at Marian University, visit area colleges and partake in educational enrichment trips. Summer workshops cover topics such as information technology, world languages, communication, economics, personal vision and many other personal development topics. 

“Although the UBMS Program at Marian University has only been in existence for two years, this 50th anniversary has great significance for the institution,” said Garry Moise, director of the TRiO/Upward Bound Math and Science Program at Marian. “It is a tremendous opportunity for Marian to continue its own legacy of contributing strongly in the advancement of the Fond du Lac community. It is also an honor to join hundreds of other institutions across the country in these historic endeavors of facilitating access to higher education opportunities.” 

As a TRiO program, the UBMS program at Marian University works to educate potential first generation college students and/or low income high school students in relation to graduation from high school, transition to college, and the pursuit of postsecondary degrees in mathematics and science. This purpose of the program aligns with the teaching mission of Marian University and fosters a relationship with the local and global community.

This year the program has provided services to 63 students. Forty eight of those students are currently participating in the summer component of the program. Participants are enrolled in Fond du Lac and Horace Mann High Schools.