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Since 1984, the President of the University of Illinois has hosted an annual Salute to Academic Achievement event to honor and recruit the state's most talented students from traditionally underrepresented minority groups, and underrepresented counties in the state of Illinois.
The Salute to Academic Achievement (SAA) is an invitation-only event that includes a College Fair and luncheon. The program has been expanded by offering the event in two locations - in Chicago and in Champaign. Through SAA, the University endeavors to recognize the academic accomplishments of the state's most talented underrepresented high school seniors, and to encourage them to consider attending one of the three campuses of the University of Illinois. The attendees include high school seniors, their parents and high school counselors, as well as the representatives from the three campuses who staff the College Fair. Last year over 1,000 were in attendance.
At the College Fair, which runs from 10:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m., representatives from the three campuses of the University of Illinois, including staff from each college, are on hand to answer questions about academics, financial aid, housing and admissions. The luncheon begins promptly at 11:30 a.m., features a keynote speaker, and includes remarks by the President of the University and a current student. The luncheon proceedings conclude at 1:15 p.m., and the College Fair resumes until 2:00 p.m.