You’re about to move in to your new home. It may not feel like home yet but give it some time and it will. This hill, this campus, is filled with faculty and staff who care deeply about your professional and personal success. The friendships you will make here will be long lasting and will have a profound impact on your life. The skills and abilities you develop will prepare you well for post-collegiate success, and you will find a confidence and an ability to advocate for yourself. But don’t just take our word for it. Around commencement, we asked graduating seniors about their Denison experience. Here’s what they shared with us.
To put it simply, relationships matter at Denison. Our faculty and staff take great pride in mentoring students throughout their four years — through student research, campus employment, varsity athletics, service learning and more. Students also develop strong and lasting bonds with their peers. As one senior reflects, “I will always remember that I had a home here with people I loved deeply.”
“I believe to have been a Denisonian means that I came from a liberal arts environment in which I was able to involve myself in different perspectives, courses, clubs and events that varied from my own views. I was able to learn about myself, my peers and others simultaneously. To have been a Denisonian means that I had a very personalized college experience through my choices of club involvement, major and my relationships with my professors.”
“Our mission statement sums it up very well. But in my own words, Denisonians find their home on the hill. It is everything that you make of it and what you chose to indulge yourself in. But to be a Denisonian is to be challenged in some way, to be a part of a small, heavily connected community that struggles and strives together. This is more than an education and more than a preparation for a career, this is a community of students learning how to be better world citizens and learning first how to care for and question each other until we are proficient at it and can carry those lessons off the hill.”
Through their curricular and co-curricular experiences, students develop and refine many skills: critical thinking, problem solving, written and oral communication expertise, to name just a few.
“I have learned how to think critically, stand up for my beliefs, be comfortable in my own skin, all while having a prestigious educational experience. I think I accredit a lot of my growth as a woman to living on Denison’s campus, being around different people with different perspectives. I know that my experience is set apart from a lot of other college experiences.”
“I got a really terrific, well-rounded education that allows me to be prepared to take any opportunities that come my way. I now have well developed and versatile skills that make me qualified to undertake a variety of life (and career) paths.”
“I am confident young woman, with a wide range of skill sets that will help me adapt to any task thrown at me. I also think that means that I have been taught excellent problem solving abilities and how to work effectively in a team. I will be able to form a logistical argument backed by empirical data and I can effectively take into consideration if a source is credible or not.”
Denison is a place where students are not only encouraged, but are expected to contribute, to voice their opinions and to be agents of their own lives.
“I am forever changed because of my time at Denison. I have grown so much. I am a lifelong learner and someone who is confident in her intellect, who has learned to advocate for and prioritize her own wellness and self-care. I was supported and loved by many Denisonians (peers, professors, mentors) when I was struggling and this is also something I will carry with me forever. I am so immensely proud to be a Denisonian.”
Over the course of the next four years, you’ll discover for yourself what it means to be a Denisonian. So, during the next several weeks as you’re learning the fundamental aspects of life on the hill, stay excited by what four years of this place can produce. The first few weeks of being new to any community can be filled with awkwardness and anxiety as you learn the customs and traditions of your new home. We all will experience good days and less-than-good days here. It’s what you do with those days, the perseverance and the commitment you bring to the table, that will shape your personal outcome more than any single incident or class. Carpe Diem. And have fun doing it.