Posted: May 19, 1999

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

Gov. Jesse Ventura urges Minnesota young people to "get into college" in a playful new public service announcement for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.

Directed by Tyrel Ventura, the governor's 19-year-old son, and produced by Bill Hillsman of North Woods Advertising, the MnSCU "Get Into College" television PSA was unveiled today at a press conference in St. Paul.

"In his role as director, Tyrel is probably the only person in Minnesota who could get away with telling the governor what to do for a whole day," said Hillsman. "He did a terrific job in his directing debut. And his dad wasn't bad as an actor, either."

The PSA features Governor Ventura playing himself at a press conference speech and pokes fun at the frenzied national media attention that continues to surround him. In a flashback sequence, he muses, "How'd I ever get here?" and advises his audience of young people to "get into college." He tells young people that they, too, could someday become governor -- or a member of the press corps.

Gov. Ventura agreed to appear in the public service announcement to help counter the current trend of fewer young people attending college immediately after high school. Recent studies have found that the proportion of high school graduates enrolling in college the following fall has been dropping.

"Governor Ventura recognizes that it is in the public interest to encourage young people to pursue higher education as early as possible," said Linda Kohl, a MnSCU spokesperson. "A skilled and educated workforce is a competitive advantage for our state, and college education is linked to higher incomes and a better quality of life."

Governor Ventura is a persuasive spokesperson who is popular with the young people the state colleges and universities are trying to reach, said Kohl. "He will be effective at promoting Minnesota State Colleges and Universities as an affordable way to get a college education," she said.

The ad also features a toll-free phone number - 1-877-88-STATE - that young people can call to get a colorful and free 40-page guide to the 36 state colleges and universities. The guide, "Go Places," provides useful information about choosing a college and describes each of the state colleges and universities and the programs offered at each school. The guide is available now by calling from anywhere in the state: 1-877-88-STATE.

Production credits for the public service announcement include: North Woods Advertising, marketing agency; Tyrel Ventura/Frogband Productions, director; Amy Brewster, producer; David Doyle, director of photography; Jeanette Carrell, art director; Bill Hillsman, copywriter; Chan Poling/Trail Mix, music and design; and dozens of actors and crew members from Minnesota's film production community, many of whom donated their time and efforts.