Community College Ends Religious Recruiting

March 3, 2010

Northwest College, a community college in Wyoming, announced Tuesday that it will no longer recruit students based on their religion. The announcement follows controversy over the news that Paul B. Prestwich, the president, sent recruitment letters to about 1,000 Mormon high school students last month, encouraging them to apply. While Northwest is a public institution with no religious affiliation, Prestwich stressed that it was a Mormon-friendly college, writing: "As an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I am quite familiar with the advantages that Northwest College and Powell [Wyo.] have to offer LDS students in particular." Such recruiting is unusual for public college presidents. In a statement released Tuesday, Prestwich said that recruiting would no longer be based on religion and that donors were going to reimburse the college for the cost of the mailing to Mormon students.

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