Your Centre Stories
RELEASED: Dec. 1, 2005
DANVILLE, KYOver the years, Centre College has been in the habit of telling its graduates why they should support the College with an annual gift. Alumni have responded by leading the nation in annual giving percentage 16 of the last 22 years.
This year, the development office has decided to change things up a bit, by asking alumni to give their own reasons for giving to their alma mater.
The response has been overwhelming. Here in the first of a multi-part series, is a sampling of "Centre Stories," Centre alumni's reasons for giving:
Angie Nichols '00, Prestonsburg, Ky.
My first glimpse of Centre's campus was when I was a high school freshman. My brother had gotten lost on the way to a high school football game and we ended up right on campus. I was in awe. I made him drive through campus. He asked me what the big deal was. I said "Centre is the best college in the state." He said, "So I guess that means you're going there?" I said, "No way, it's also the most expensive college in the state."
Throughout my high school life I dreamed of going to Centre. However, I never felt like it was a possibility.
By the time I was a senior in high school, my father was a disabled coal miner. His yearly income was less than tuition, room and board at Centre. Nonetheless, I filled out the applications and prayed. When my financial aide packet from Centre arrived, I was astounded. With scholarships and grants my contribution to my education was going to be about $200 a year. That was affordable!
My Centre education was worth far more than if I had paid for every penny myself. The wealth of knowledge I gained while at Centre amazes me. Sometimes it still seems unreal to me that I was able to have that quality, priceless education that only Centre can offer. The Centre experience is more than just a college experience. As a young alumna, I still cannot give as much as I one day will, but I contribute to Centre because if others had not, I would not have had a Centre story to tell.
Kristin Coleman Proksch '00, Chapel Hill, N.C.:
When Mom and I were looking at schools, I kept hoping that when we looked at the right school, I would somehow know right away. And I did when we got to Centre… as we walked down Walnut Street that crisp fall day, Mom turned to me and said, “Well, this is the place.” And I agreed.
I arrived at Centre in the fall of ’96 and I met my future husband Bryan on the 2nd day of orientation. As Bryan and I continued our four years at Centre, we learned so much in our various classes, and continued our love of music by performing in Centre Trumpets.
Our fond memories will always be with us. We can only hope that other students will enjoy their time as much as we did. It is a place of love, love of learning, love of the arts, and love of those around us.
Jean Davis Wheeler '39, Lexington, Ky.:
My four years at Centre were the happiest days of my life.
Kenneth Daigler '65 Washington, D.C.:
Centre provided me with a broad educational experience that has developed my personal and professional horizons in so many ways. It taught me to think, reason and act in a number of fields and environments where logic and emotion must blend to form the most valuable outcome.
Tessa Apschnikat '91, Louisville:
Kathleen Guess '97, Marion, Ky.:
So many small reasons …. An African meal at Rick Bradshaw’s house; Charles Vahlkamp calling to welcome me to Centre—a man I had never met but who had played baseball with my father as a child visiting his grandmother in the summers here in my hometown; working in the slide library with Ann Silver and getting to know a few professors out of class; Sheldon Tapley; Strasbourg with the Vahlkamp’s; Clarence Wyatt; and that woman my freshman year who convinced me to stay.
Bryan Rich '01, Louisville:
I teach AP European and AP World History at Ballard High School in Louisville. There is not a day that goes by in which I do not utilize some aspect of my Centre education. I am particularly influenced by two outstanding history professors: Dr. Michael Hamm and Dr. Clarence Wyatt. I regularly deliver anecdotes I heard from them, but I also require the critical thinking skills from my students that these professors required of me. I can't imagine my life without my Centre experience.
Steve Meadows '91, Danville, Ky.:
My story is simple. After student teaching at Danville High School during my senior year at Centre, I moved to Northern Kentucky to teach, only to return to Danville and DHS three years later. I’ve been at DHS for 12 years since.
Not a day in my life as a teacher goes by that I’m not thankful for my Centre education. Centre prepared me for the daily rigors of teaching through its demanding workload. And Centre certainly prepared me for all shapes and sizes of literature.
But the main reason I gladly give to Centre is because Centre kindly gives to me as a teacher. Each year, Mary Beth Garriott and the research librarians welcome my AP English seniors to Doherty Library for a research project that prepares them to use college libraries. Each spring, Dr. John Ward addresses these same students about his time served as a reader for the AP exam and how they might best score—as well as a good dose of college counseling to boot. This fall, my class welcomed Director of Admission Bob Nesmith to class to gain an insider's view on the college application process. Every year, Matthew Hallock and the other Drama Centre artists provide our school plays with technical assistance we simply can't do without, from loans of set pieces to design expertise. Centre even serves as the host for the annual Kentucky qualifying tournament for the national speech tournament, a tournament I must manage in my duties as state chair. Students and coaches around the state are yearly wowed by Centre's facilities and generosity—the admission office even gives us pizza!
So my annual donation is one way I say thanks to the gifts my alma mater continually gives my students and me.If you have your own story to tell, please share it with us by sending an email to the communications office at email@example.com. Checks should of course still be directed to the usual place. Remember, online giving is easy to do: just visit http://gifts.centre.edu/.
- end -
Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
For news archives go to http://www.centre.edu/web/news/newsarchive.html.
600 W. Walnut Street
Danville, KY 40422
Public Information Coordinator: Telephone 859-238-5714