College Clinic to celebrate 50th anniversary Wednesday at SM East

Fox 4 anchor John Holt was on hand at the 2010 College Clinic representing his alma mater, the University of Kansas.

On Wednesday, SM East will be transformed into an expansive one-day-only window-shopping sale for metro area high schoolers thinking about college.

The fiftieth annual Shawnee Mission College Clinic returns to 7500 Mission Road at 6:30 p.m. — and to say it’s come a long way since its inception would be quite the understatement.

Just 250 people attended the first College Clinic in 1962, when representatives from around 20 colleges and universities set up shop to drum up interest from prospective students.

On Wednesday, organizers predict 4,000 to 5,000 students and parents will be walking the halls of SM East. There, they’ll be able to meet with representatives from 215 colleges located in 34 states. Students from 150 high schools throughout the Kansas City region – including as far away as Emporia and Wichita — are invited to attend.

“To our knowledge, it is the largest college fair in the area,” writes Mary Bahr, one of this year’s organizers from the SM East PTA. “The school representatives always comment on how much they love coming to our fair due to the high caliber of the students as well as how well we treat them (volunteers to help them carry their things in, a nice dinner, a box of chocolates, etc.!)”

The event runs 6:30-8:30 p.m. There is no admission fee.