COLLEGEVILLE Some students go south to party for spring break. Others go to learn.

Nine students from Ursinus College spent the last week in Mississippi and Alabama, exploring ground zero of the civil rights movement.

The trip has become an annual pilgrimage for students in Charles Rice's "Religion and Civil Rights" class over the last decade. This year, it coincided with the 50th anniversary of the march on Selma, Ala., and the recent release of an Academy Award-winning film about that event.

In addition to touring historic sites, such as the National Voting Rights Museum, the students met with community leaders who experienced the struggle firsthand in the 1950s and '60s.

After meeting with civil rights activists - including the Rev. Ed King, Constance Slaughter, and Hollis Watkins - freshman Kathleen Donnelly said it opened her eyes to a world unlike her own.

"So many of these things I never would have thought of," said Donnelly, of Philadelphia, "because I've been privileged enough to never have to think about them." - Jessica Parks