Why I Give: Kyle Rhood ’08

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1.  How do you stay connected to Gettysburg College?

I participate in BOLD Council, the Key Alumni Resource Effort, and attend local alumni club events.  I also try to get back to campus at least once a year.

2.  What aspect of Gettysburg College do you hope to help with your donation?
I hope to help increase the academic opportunities available to students and faculty.

3.  What motivates you to give back?
I appreciate the opportunities Gettysburg has given me and want to return the favor.  I want the college to keep getting better and today’s students continue to amaze me with their accomplishments.

4.  What is your favorite memory from college?
Relaxing in any one of the number of open spaces on campus.

5.  The first 3 words that come to mind when I think of Gettysburg College are:
Passionate, friendly, caring

6.  What sets Gettysburg College apart from the rest?
I think it’s the people that set Gettysburg apart.  In addition to the great students, the faculty and staff are second to none.  Professors are always willing to go out of their way to help students and staff are geniunely dedicated to the success of the college.

7.  Did you have an Orange Dot at Get Acquainted Day? If not, what convinced you to attend Gettysburg?
Yes!  It made the day that much more enjoyable.

8.  Favorite Servo Meal:
Chicken Nugget Wednesday

9.  What is your favorite location on campus/in the town of Gettysburg?
Glatfelter

10.  What is your hope for Gettysburg College for the foreseeable future?
I want to see Gettysburg continue to add new programs and expand its presence nationally.

Kyle Rhood ’08, BOLD Council

Why I Give: Courtney Hughes ’07

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1.  How do you stay connected to Gettysburg College?

In addition to my responsibilities on the BOLD Council, I like to stay in touch with faculty and staff who were instrumental in making my Gburg experience what it was. Keeping in touch with friends is great, but something about hearing about my favorite meal at Servo or traditional festivity on campus (like Springfest) makes me super nostalgic in the best ways possible. I love knowing that the activities that made my college experience great are still being carried on by such capable and caring individuals.

2.  What aspect of Gettysburg College do you hope to help with your donation?
I focus a lot of my monetary donations on College Life and the Sunderman Conservatory and choirs since these were the areas that I devoted the majority of my time to while I was a student.

3.  What motivates you to give back?
I was given so many awesome opportunities and support while I was a student. I know that it’s my responsibility to ensure the next generation of graduates has the same chances I did. This doesn’t hold true for solely monetary donations. I give a lot of my time to the College as well. I understand that not everyone is a place where they can give financially, but every graduate can give his/her time. Check in with Jen Brennan and start volunteering for G-bites!! Super easy, super fun.

4.  What is your favorite memory from college?
Nope. Can’t pick just one. Wouldn’t even try to do that.

5.  The first 3 words that come to mind when I think of Gettysburg College are:
Home, family, comfort.

6.  What sets Gettysburg College apart from the rest?
The safety net. Gettysburg is a place that is passionate about assisting its students in finding what makes them happy. Whether it’s academics, Greek life, sports, music, theatre – there are literally a thousand ways and people who are willing to help you achieve your goals. I love that.

7.  Did you have an Orange Dot at Get Acquainted Day?  If not, what convinced you to attend Gettysburg?
I didn’t. But I got there – reintroduced myself to Darryl Jones (hey friend!!!) – and knew that it was the perfect place for me. People were friendly, faculty were approachable, and the food was amazing! It didn’t hurt that it was sunny, slightly warm, and beautiful on campus that day. No one mentioned the whole “wind tunnel” that day.

8.  Favorite Servo Meal:
Again, this is like picking my favorite child. I’d have to say it’s a toss-up between ham on a pretzel roll and the Servo cookies. Which yes, they count as a meal. I made them my meal…… a lot.

9.  What is your favorite location on campus/in the town of Gettysburg?
As a student, it was morning/evening runs along the battlefield. Now, as an alumna, they are Keira Kant’s house and Servo (I appreciate it so much more now that I have to cook).

10.  What is your hope for Gettysburg College for the foreseeable future?
I hope to see Gettysburg continue to makes its presence known, not only in the Northeast, but nationally and internationally. We have awesome students and a great alumni network, of which I am proud and honored to call myself a member.

Courtney Hughes ’07, BOLD Council

Why I Give: Alex Ferraro ’12

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1. How do you stay connected to Gettysburg College?
I stay connected to Gettysburg College by serving as a member of the BOLD Council and by staying active in the Pittsburgh Alumni Club. Serving on the BOLD Council has been an excellent way for me to stay connected because I belong to a group of other young alums who are equally dedicated to giving back their time and energy to the College in a meaningful way. Plus, it gives me an excuse to return to campus twice a year for our All-Council meetings! The Pittsburgh Alumni Club has also been an excellent way to stay connected because I have numerous opportunities to connect with Gettysburg alums in my area, and also because I get to experience different aspects and areas of Pittsburgh through alumni club events.

2. What aspect of Gettysburg College do you hope to help with your donation?
While I certainly hope that all of the activities I belonged to while at Gettysburg benefit in some way from my donation and the donations of others, I am particularly hopeful that my donation will be used to make it possible for students to study abroad while paying the same tuition they would if they stayed on campus. As a middle-class student who had never traveled overseas before studying abroad in South Africa during the fall semester of my junior year, I cannot understate how important it was to me and my family that it would not cost us more to study abroad than it would if I had stayed on campus. Without question, I would not have studied abroad if Gettysburg had not made financially possible to do so.

3. What motivates you to give back?
I am motivated to give back because choosing to attend Gettysburg College was one of the most important decisions I have made; I would not be where I am now and doing the things I am doing now if it weren’t for the academic, professional, and personal opportunities I had at Gettysburg. My experiences were made possible by the collective efforts of countless donors, and I want to have the same kind of impact over the course of my life and relationship with the College.

4. The first 3 words that come to mind when I think of Gettysburg College are:
Unique, committed, and life-changing.

5. What sets Gettysburg College apart from the rest?
Our location and place in history. As someone who has always been fascinated with history, my interest in Gettysburg stemmed in large part from the allure of living and learning in a place that has witnessed two of the moments that define our nation, the Battle of Gettysburg and the Gettysburg Address. I would also emphasize the College’s unique ties to President Eisenhower, a man who changed the world and our nation. It is a testament to the College and to the town in which it sits that both became a refuge for Eisenhower before, during, and after his presidency. Few institutions of higher education are as tightly linked to American history as Gettysburg College, and that sets the College apart from the rest.

6. Did you have an Orange Dot at Get Acquainted Day? If not, what convinced you to attend Gettysburg?
I did have an Orange Dot on Get Acquainted Day! I applied Early Decision II, so I was already a part of the Class of 2012 in January of my senior year in high school.

7. Favorite Servo Meal:
The days when they served both buffalo chicken salads and meatball subs with shells and cheese for lunch!

8. What is your favorite location on campus/in the town of Gettysburg?
Third floor of the library at one of the tables with a view of Penn Hall.

9. What is your hope for Gettysburg College for the foreseeable future?
My hope for Gettysburg College is that it will continue to diversify by attracting students from a variety of socioeconomic, racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds, and also from a variety of locations around the United States and the world. As someone who came from a small town in western Pennsylvania, I have and will continue to value the different people I come into contact with from a variety of backgrounds. Current and future alums, the College itself, and the town of Gettysburg can only continue to benefit from the ongoing diversification of our student body.

Alex Ferraro ’12, BOLD Council

Why I Give: Lexie Olivia Grant ’11

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1.  How do you stay connected to Gettysburg College?
Staying connected to Gettysburg College is not all about how much you give, but how much passion you put into your giving. Therefore, concentrated energy is how I stay connected to Gettysburg College. For example, I read the Bullet Points Newsletter, The Gettysburgian, and explore the website whenever possible. Additionally, I continue to email and call my Gettysburg College professors. Simply, I focus energy into every interaction that I have with Gettysburg College. By focusing energy towards staying connected to Gettysburg College, I have received an abundance of energy and support back into my life. When you stay connected, you receive so much more than you give. I dare you to try it but let me warn you that it’s addicting!

2.  What aspect of Gettysburg College do you hope to help with your donation?
One extra curricular program at Gettysburg College transformed my life. Whenever I make a gift to Gettysburg College, I specify that I want those funds to go directly to that program. If a current student’s life is transformed during their Gettysburg experience because of this program (which doesn’t get as much funds as other programs), then I know that as an alum, I have been successful. Specifically, I want that same program to continue to transform, inspire, and create well-rounded Gettysburg College alumni.

3.  What motivates you to give back?
The current students and my colleagues (Gettysburg College professors) are at the core of my giving. Having G-Chats with students about their aspirations, interests, and love for the college, fuels my desire to give. Gettysburg College professors continue to be a part of my family (I even call one of my professors Auntie). From Christmas cards to long telephone chats, the professors at Gettysburg College will always be a support system and they ensure that Gettysburg College students (past, present, and future) continue to receive a distinguished education.

4.  What is your favorite memory from college?
It’s not so much a memory but a tradition-spending Thanksgiving with my professor(s) is my favorite tradition from college.

5.  The first three words that come to mind when I think of Gettysburg College are:
Do. Great. Work.

6.  What sets Gettysburg College apart from the rest?
Ultimately, it is the Gettysburg College experience that separates Gettysburg College from other academic institutions. This experience lasts beyond the years as a current student and continues throughout a lifetime. Gettysburg College is a family in which a support system is always active.

7.  Did you have an Orange Dot at Get Acquainted Day?  If not, what convinced you to attend Gettysburg?
I did not attend Get Acquainted Day but what convinced me to attend Gettysburg College was chatting with current students about their Gettysburg experience when I arrived for a tour. Secretly, it was the food, especially the Servo cookies, that convinced me (don’t tell my parents).

8.  Favorite Servo Meal:
Servo Cookies! That’s a meal, right?

9.  What is your favorite location on campus/in the town of Gettysburg?
My favorite spot on campus is the Gettysburg College Women’s Center. If you have never been to the Women’s Center, it is a gem. I loved hanging out with my friends, chatting with professors, enjoying a cup of tea, crafting, and relaxing at the Women’s Center.

10.  What is your hope for Gettysburg College for the foreseeable future?
My biggest hope is that Gettysburg College continues to instill the importance of doing great work and that it grows the resources for experiential learning opportunities, extensive career network, co-curricular, service, and off-campus activities. I want Gettysburg College to always feel like a home away from home for current students and alumni.

Lexie Olivia Grant ’11, BOLD Council

Gettysburg’s career involvement

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When you are an undergrad at Gettysburg College, the Center for Career Development (CCD) provides numerous opportunities to help with your job or graduate school search.  Alumni often think that this is the only time Gettysburg is there to help them with their career, however, this is not the case!  CCD and Alumni offices provide plenty of help to alums looking for help with their career–the same resources that are available to undergrads are available to alumni as well. 

Looking for a new job?  Register for GettysburgWorks and check out the job postings available, many of them posted specifically by alumni looking to increase the Gettysburg presence in their office. 

Considering a new career?  Try out the new Career Beam online portal for career exploration (Read about junior Pete Barrett’s experience with Career Beam, here).  Another great resource is the Gettysburg College Professional Network on LinkedIn.  There you can solicit advice from fellow alums and even attend seminars on how to advance your career.

I personally found the Gettysburg College Professional Network very helpful in 2010 when I was looking for something new.  After using several Gettysburg career resources, I came across a job posting on LinkedIn by a fellow Gettysburg alum.  Thanks to that post I was able to get into a new career path and have the opportunity to work for a Gettysburg alum (thanks Brad Welch ’04)!  While having moved on to a new company (and now working for an F&M alum ), it was that opportunity that helped put me on the right career path.

I am still very grateful for the opportunity a fellow alum gave me, so my goal is to not only use, but also to enhance the opportunities for Gettysburg alumni.  Even if you are set in your career, there are plenty of options to help another student or alum’s career, such as offering to host a networking dinner, presenting on a career panel, meeting with a student through the GBites program, or by simply passing along useful information to people in your network.  These are great opportunities to not only build your network, but improve the overall Gettysburg network as well.  So the next time you think you need some career advice, check out the Center for Career Development’s website or give them a call to find out all the resources they have available.

Kyle Rhood ’08, BOLD Council member

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Valentine’s Day: one of the most polarizing holidays of all.  Whether you love it or love to hate it, we can all agree that we LOVE Gettysburg College.  In honor of Valentine’s Day, read about some of the couples that have found love at our beloved alma mater.

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Heather Baldwin Ross ’04 from Richmond, and Jeremy Ross ’05 from Dallastown, Pa., met at Gettysburg and currently live in Richmond, Va.

Where and when did you first meet?  Was it a memorable meeting at the time or did you not think much of it?
We met Memorial Day weekend, 2004, a week after I (Heather) graduated from Gettysburg. We were both guests at the 21st birthday party of Molly Kastendieck ’05 in Lutherville, Md. We hit it off, and Jeremy invited me to a party at his fraternity house the next day. I told him I’d come if I didn’t have anything better to do (I didn’t, so I went). We both spent the summer working at Gettysburg which made having a summer fling easy. Nearly 10 years later, this is the longest summer fling ever.

Did you incorporate Gettysburg into your wedding?  If so, how?
When Jeremy proposed, he gave me a photo album with pictures of us throughout the years we had been dating. The last picture in the album was of Christ Chapel. We’d always said we wanted to get married at Gettysburg College, so we did! We were married on April 5, 2008 by Rev. Donnella. Many of our Gettysburg friends were guests at our wedding, as were a couple college staff members I had grown close to during my years working in Admissions.

As a couple, how do you stay connected to Gettysburg?
We try to visit campus at least once a year, whether it’s for a specific event or a lazy weekend away. We enjoy representing Gettysburg at college fairs through volunteering with KARE. Also, whenever Gettysburg College comes up in conversation with our kids, we tell them that “Gettysburg College is a magical place where all of your hopes and dreams can come true.” Obviously, we are brainwashing them with the hopes that our kids will go to Gettysburg too (another excuse to visit campus in the future and stay connected).

What are your favorite memories of your time at Gettysburg College?
Jeremy: Hanging out with my friends in the dorm or fraternity house.
Heather: Semester abroad in Florence, Italy; rugby; all four summers of my college years spent working hard and playing smart at Gettysburg.

If you each had to name one thing, what do you love most about Gettysburg College?
The sense of community. Once a ‘burgian, always a ‘burgian.

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Courtney Hughes ’07 from Mechanicsburg, Pa., and Bruce Hughes ’06 from Lacey Township, N.J., live in Florida.

Where and when did you first meet?  Was it a memorable meeting at the time or did you not think much of it?
Bruce and Courtney met during his sophomore and her freshman year.  He was dating her first-year roommate and became close friends.  We both knew that we were going to be friends for a really long time, but we had no idea we would ever date, let alone get married (our friends were all too happy to say “I told you so” when we got married though).  That friendship continued throughout college and beyond, but we didn’t go on an official date until after Bruce had graduated and moved to Florida.

Did you incorporate Gettysburg into your wedding?  If so, how?
In addition to about half of our guests and bridal party being Gettysburgians, we also hid a “G” on our wedding cake and took a group picture with all of the Gettysburg College alums.  Oh, and we sang “Don’t Stop Believin’” which counts as incorporating college into our wedding, right?

As a couple, how to do you stay connected to Gettysburg?
In addition to giving to the annual fund each year, we try to visit campus at least twice per year.  Thankfully, so many of our college friends have had reasons for celebration in the past six years that we have been able to travel and spend time with our Gburg family.

What are your favorite memories of your time at Gettysburg?
There are just so many memories, both together and separately, that made our time so memorable.  Our friends from college really are an extension of our family.  College memories are awesome, but the memories we’ve made with those same friends—sharing in their engagements, weddings, welcoming their babies, and traveling the globe—make us both truly grateful for finding one another at Gettysburg.

If you each had to name one thing, what do you love most about Gettysburg College?
The lifelong friendships and awesome support system that the College provides, not just in peers but in staff, faculty, and administrators.  We are so proud to be Orange and Blue!

Katie Eissler ’10, BOLD Council Communications Chair

The value of a Gettysburg College degree

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As someone who has chosen to pursue a career in higher education, I spend a considerable amount of time thinking about and advocating for the value of a college degree, particularly, the value of a liberal arts degree.  Being fully immersed in one’s college experience is the keystone to any successful liberal arts college and Gettysburg alumni know what it means to participate in intentional learning experiences and are able to connect the dots between what happens in the classroom, residence hall, Stine Lake, and on the athletic field.  

A recent article by a notable higher education blog reports that, “Employers consistently say they want to hire people who have a broad knowledge base and can work together to solve problems, debate, communicate and think critically….all skills that liberal arts programs aggressively, and perhaps uniquely, strive to teach” (Grasgreen, 2014).  The concept of “high impact learning” may be overwhelming to some, but it is a big part of what makes Gettysburg – it’s students and alumni – GREAT. 

This past week, Gettysburg received the great honor of being named one of eight Pennsylvania colleges and universities to The Princeton Review’s 2014 list of “Best Value Colleges.”  Barbara Fritze, vice president for enrollment and educational services, reported that Gettysburg was one of 75 private colleges in the nation to receive this honor – way to go, Bullets!

While many alumni (and likely current students and families) can agree that the Gettysburg experience requires a significant financial commitment, it can be reassuring to know that Gettysburg continues to offer very generous financial aid packages so that all qualified students can pursue the Gettysburg experience.  And young alumni can relax a little bit when it comes to income and earning potential after leaving campus.  While personal budgets may be tight in these early years, Grasgreen (2014) reports that, “By their mid-50s, liberal arts majors with an advanced or undergraduate degree are on average making more money those who studied in professional and pre-professional fields, and are employed at similar rates.”

These recent announcements offer a great excuse for liberal arts graduates to celebrate their degrees and college experiences with pride.  It may be chilly (well, downright cold) across most of the country, but don’t let the winter weather stop you from proudly wearing your orange and blue and spreading the word about Gettysburg College.  As always, it’s a GREAT day to be a Bullet.

Alex Hoffmaster ’10, BOLD Council Vice Chair