Barry McNamara  |   Published September 04, 2020

Peter Pitts to be Honored by Alumni

Admissions counselor who recruited hundreds of students to Monmouth from 1992-2019 to receive College’s Distinguished Service Award.

MONMOUTH, Ill. – For his 27 years as an admissions counselor at Monmouth College, Peter Pitts is the recipient of this year’s Distinguished Service Award.

Pitts will be one of the College’s Alumni Impact Award honorees during a virtual, recorded event set to broadcast Oct. 9 during Homecoming weekend. The traditional in-person ceremony has been canceled this year due to COVID-19.

PETER PITTS: Helped more the 2,000 students go to college during his four-decade career as an adm... PETER PITTS: Helped more the 2,000 students go to college during his four-decade career as an admission counselor.Pitts estimates he helped more than 2,000 students go to college over the course of his four decades in the admissions field, much of which was spent at Monmouth.

For Pitts, who retired from the College last year, those students were like an extended family of children whose accomplishments he followed proudly, long after they graduated.

Pitts began his admissions career in 1977 at his undergraduate alma mater, Wartburg College. He also holds a master’s degree from the University of Iowa. He started at Monmouth in 1992 and helped the College develop a strong presence in Chicago.

In particular, Pitts worked with students from underserved populations. The percentage of minority students enrolled at Monmouth quadrupled during his time, thanks to a College commitment and effort.

Pitts was known to go above and beyond to help students learn about Monmouth. His passion for his job and for the College was clearly evident as he worked with those students, connecting with them and helping steer them down the right college path.

“Just be yourself, tell the truth, have fun and be flexible,” he said of student recruitment philosophy. “I try to under-promise and over-deliver. … The important thing is, is the student happy? Is the student ending up where they really need to be at this point in their life? If they’re happy and they’re where they need to be, then I’ve done my job.”

Following his retirement, Pitts has remained active in the admissions field, working as an independent consultant and publishing a memoir about his more than 40 years working as a college admissions counselor, After Breakfast I Change Lives.

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