PERSIST stands for Promoting Excellence and Reinforcing Success in Student Transitions.

PERSIST is a cohort program for male first-year students of African descent. As a scholar, you’re encouraged to make useful connections by participating in programming sponsored by the Office of Inclusive Excellence.

We’ll work with you to develop a path to realizing your own leadership potential in both academics and as a community member. 

PERSIST scholars enroll in a general education course their first semester taught by the PERSIST program director. Scholars are also accepted into the Ubuntu Mentoring Program, and are eligible to seek membership into the King’s Men Honor Society. PERSIST scholars work with Ida B. Wells Living Learning Community members to sponsor the annual Kwanzaa celebration.

The PERSIST Scholar Path

During the first year as a PERSIST scholar, you’ll engage in Harambee activities, where you’ll develop a plan for reaching your educational goals. You’ll learn to identify your skills, values, and experiences, and understand how your unique presence adds value to the Mary Baldwin community. As a new student, you’ll make a commitment to diversity programming by serving as student ambassadors for inclusive excellence. After the first year, you’ll also have the opportunity to be inducted into the King’s Men Honor Society.

Students who do not formally join PERSIST during their first semester but who are fully engaged in PERSIST activities during the first semester are invited to join the program.

Year Two: SERVE
Second-year PERSIST scholars will be exposed to the world of service through leadership by exploring what it means to be a global citizen. You’ll serve as Ubuntu mentors, peer advisors, and PERSIST staff members. You’ll be encouraged to take a leadership role in Men with Vision.

Year Three: LEAD
During your third year as a PERSIST scholar, you’ll continue to meet monthly and establish yourself as a highly involved campus and classroom leader. You’ll work with the African American alumni network to plan and execute the Sankofa Leadership Conference, an annual event designed to consider the past and imagine the future for African American students at Mary Baldwin. You’ll also be encouraged to serve as student ambassadors for racial and social justice. 

Year Four: LIVE
During your fourth year, you’ll focus on preparing for life after MBU. You’ll receive individualized career and professional coaching and learn how to navigate job searches or the graduate school application process. You’lllearn how to manage your finances and live independently.

Find your level-up at MBU.
Connect with an Admissions Counselor.