Campus News

Merit Weekend Resumes In-Person, Welcoming Thousands to Campus


LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 22, 2022) — Over the past three weekends, more than 1,000 potential Wildcats and their families made their way to the Bluegrass State to learn all that is possible at the University of Kentucky during this year’s Merit Weekend. 

Taking place from March 5-19, Merit Weekend is an event designed for high-achieving students who have been admitted to UK for the Fall 2022 semester. Invited students have the opportunity to meet other Wildcats, explore life on campus, connect with campus resources and register for fall 2022 courses.

These one-day events, hosted by the UK Enrollment Management team, housed in the Office for Student Success, allows students and their families to witness firsthand the commitment of the UK community to the success of every student who enrolls.

“The families I talked to at our first Merit Weekends this year come from a range of backgrounds — some students are the first in their families to attend a four-year institution, some are firmly set on attending UK and some are using Merit Weekend to help them make a final decision between UK and another institution,” said Taylor Blair, director of orientation and outreach at UK. “We welcome all of them and appreciate the opportunity to play a role in their deciding where to enroll for the next four years.” 

This year’s Merit Weekend was the first in-person Merit Weekend since 2020. After an unprecedented two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many are excited to welcome students and their families back to campus, allowing for deeper connections, more exploration and an all-around sense of normalcy. 

“UK’s campus provides an unmatched atmosphere of welcome and hospitality — something not easily replicated on Zoom,” Blair said. “That sense of welcome and belonging comes from the First Year Experience (FYE) Ambassadors, faculty and staff that students meet on campus at Merit Weekend. Merit Weekend is among the earliest opportunities for many of our campus partners and academic colleges to meet the UK Class of 2026. Every current student and staff member that encounters students and guests at Merit Weekend have a chance to leave an indelible mark on that family.”

One of those students working to leave a mark on incoming students is Princess Agbozo. A sophomore FYE Ambassador in the College of Public Health on a pre-med track, Agbozo is an international student from Ghana, West Africa. 

Agbozo chose UK because of its renowned reputation in health care and because of the resources and opportunities it provides for international students. It was through her involvement with the International Center and her time spent in orientation that she was inspired to become a FYE Ambassador.

“It was because of the incredible help and guidance I got from orientation, which I utilized throughout the entirety of my freshman year, that I wanted to become a FYE Ambassador,” Agbozo said. “I was able to gain a good foundation of how to go about adjusting to college life and I wanted to be able to help other students like myself gain the same, if not better, foundation than I did.”

As a FYE Ambassador, Agbozo has the unique opportunity to welcome incoming students and their families to UK and to shape their first-year experience. 

“It feels great to interact and connect with incoming students on a more personal level this year now that Merit Weekend is back on campus,” Agbozo said. “I get to be one of the individuals to introduce them to our beautiful campus and show them what life at UK could look like for them.”

Taking the first step in their transition to enrolling as a student at the university, Merit Weekend allows students to gain a wide perspective of the opportunities that await them at UK. While Merit Weekend is a great opportunity for students and their families, it is also a great opportunity for the UK community to come together and show people exactly what UK is made of. 

“UK is determined to ensure that students here succeed, and they have so many resources here for students to achieve their goals and make their dreams wildly possible! I hope students see that when they come here,” Agbozo said.

Students can learn more about what it's like to be a Wildcat at UK by visiting the university’s YouTube channel

To fill out an FYE Ambassador interest form, click here. To learn more about upcoming Big Blue Nation Orientations, visit the website

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.