More than 20 years ago, I was having the discussion… ‘where was I going to college’? After some meetings with my guidance counselor and a review of reports from college databases, I thought I had put together a pretty comprehensive list of schools, which had checked all my boxes. Before embarking on the summer college tour of 1996, I had a discussion with my mother to see if I was missing anything. She offered a choice that had not been on my radar—Elizabethtown. I hadn’t heard of Elizabethtown, and, frankly, I was under the impression it was a women’s school whose sign I saw on the way to visit family in Lancaster.
Renée, the daughter of my mother’s friend, was a senior at E-town. I guess my search for a school came up in conversation, and she thought it merited a visit. Apparently, it had a lot of the qualities I was looking for—small classes, an ability to participate in a lot of activities and a strong communications program. And, she assured me, that it was coed.
I begrudgingly added another college to the tour itinerary and it just happened to be the first school we visited. After a rain-soaked tour, capped off with E-town’s traditional gifting of the carrot cake, I got into my parent’s Dodge Caravan and declared, “Yeah, I am positive I am going there. It just felt right.” Despite my certainty, I heeded my parents’ advice to maintain an open mind and visited all of the other schools on my list. In the end, none of them equaled Elizabethtown.
I encourage you to reflect on why you came to E-town. My bet is that somewhere along the line, someone connected to Elizabethtown played a role. A student. A graduate. A parent. This is what makes being a Blue Jay so special. It is why the Alumni Council brings a renewed focus to supporting the efforts of the Office of Admissions. We do this with the acknowledgment and recognition that, while we are proud of our legacies at Elizabethtown, we are even more invested in its future.
I encourage you to think about how you can help invest time, talent, or treasure in the future of this institution that we love. Maybe it is working with the Alumni Association on our partnership with the Office of Admissions as we recruit future Blue Jays. Maybe it is offering your unique insight, as a graduate, in the current presidential search that will be critical to E-town’s future. Or, maybe, it is serving in a larger role as a regional chapter leader, volunteer or Alumni Council member.
All it took to start my Elizabethtown experience was a suggestion from a family friend. A suggestion that has changed my life.
Blue Jays. Always.
Ryan C. Unger ’01
President, Alumni Council