A system-wide campaign by California State University at African American Fresno church congregations to tell about the importance of college – the CSU Super Sunday program — will kick off Sunday, Feb. 10, with top university officials speaking at area churches the next three Sundays.

Fresno State President John D. Welty and CSU Trustee Pete Mehas lead the local delegation that includes three other vice presidents and University Outreach Services Director Frances Pena and her staff.

Mehas launches the Fresno area effort Sunday, Feb. 10, at Saints Rest Baptist Church where he joins Minister D.J. Criner for the 10:45 a.m. service (1550 East Rev. Chester Riggins Ave.).

On Feb. 17, President Welty joins West Side Church Pastor Paul Binion at the 9 a.m. service (1424 W. California Ave.).

The president will also speak Feb. 24 in Los Angeles at St. Marks Missionary Baptist’s 11:45 a.m. service with Rev. Dr. Lovely Haynes (5017 Compton Ave.).

The Super Sunday program seeks to educate prospective students and families in the congregations about the importance of a college education, and the resources available to them to help make attending college a reality. Participants receive information about financial aid and CSUMentor.edu, a web site that provides the tools to plan and apply to CSU campuses.

After the church service, parents and students will have the opportunity to talk to CSU representatives and receive a How To Get To College poster –available in several languages — provides the list of classes that students need to take in grades six through twelve to qualify for admission to the CSU. It also provides tips for parents and mentors to help students succeed.

CSU and campus leaders visit more than 100 predominantly African-American churches throughout the state, reaching more than 100,000 congregants.

In Fresno, there will be visits to eight churches where Fresno State leaders will speak and answer questions. They will be joined by University Outreach staff and college ambassadors, who will provide information and answer more specific questions.

Other churches and speakers include:

Feb. 10:

Family Community Church – Maxine McDonald, assistant vice-president of Student Success Services, will speak at Rev. Chester L. McGensy’s 9 and 11 a.m. services (2434 E. Nees Ave.).

Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church – Thomas-Whit Ellis, professor of Theatre Arts, will speak at Rev. Richard L. Daniels’ 10:45 a.m. service (2529 East Belmont Ave.).

Feb. 17:

Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church – Dr. William Covino, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, will join Rev. Edward B. Lee Jr. for the 10:45 a.m. service (101 W. Clinton Ave.).

Bethesda Apostolic Church – Melissa Knight, lecturer in the Department of Women’s Studies, will join Pastor Tobias Brookins for the 10:45 a.m. service (3723 East Dakota Ave.)

Feb. 24:

Saints Community Church of God in Christ – Cynthia Teniente-Matson, vice president for administration and chief financial officer, will speak with Rev. Bruce E. McAlister at the 9:45 a.m. service (3740 E. Ashlan Ave.).

Super Sunday events are produced by the CSU African American Initiative, a partnership between CSU campuses and African American religious leaders.CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White, who began his tenure at the head of the CSU system in the fall, said, “Education is the key to a better future for California. The CSU’s commitment is stronger than ever to motivate and encourage African American students to prepare for college and earn a university degree.”

For more information, contact Kornya Lansana, outreach counselor, at 559.278.2048.

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