Gary Rold didn’t necessarily consider himself a pioneer when he decided that Elmhurst College would begin asking applicants about their sexual orientation, the Associated Press reports.

“I thought from the recruitment standpoint we might be more proactive” in attracting gay and lesbian students, said Rold, admissions dean at the small, private liberal arts school tucked in a middle-class Chicago suburb. He also wanted to make sure the students got any help they needed. “I realized that many of them come to college feeling really isolated and alienated.”

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