Organization: Marquette University
Service: Higher Education
Endorsement Authored By: Heather A. D'Anca
From the first moment I walked down Wisconsin Avenue in 1999, I felt the magic. I was 18 years old making my final decision on where to attend college, touring each of my top three choices. Commonly referred to as the “Marquette feeling,” I immediately knew I had landed in the right place.
During my four years at Marquette University, I changed my focus several times. Upon acceptance, I was an honors student with a psychology major in the Masters of Physical Therapy program. Over time, I changed my undergraduate major to Advertising with a minor in Marketing and then later dropped out of the Masters of Physical Therapy Program altogether and added Communication Studies as my double major. With such a dramatic change, from beginning in the colleges of Arts & Sciences and Health Studies, to moving my classes entirely within the College of Communication, one might think I would’ve needed to extend my time at Marquette past four years. However, the classes I needed were available during the semesters and times I needed them and my advisors worked with me, allowing me to take more than the approved 18 credits almost every semester, assisting me to add an independent study, and choosing me as a TA for the culminating Advertising Campaigns class my senior year so I could finish on time. As a student willing to work extra after finding the right path, Marquette made sure to meet my needs and challenge me at the level I needed to not only graduate with honors in 2003, but to keep me working at a pace that suited my specific educational needs.
From courses such as The Philosophy of Humor; Theology: Good & Evil, Past & Present; and The Diffusion of Innovations, the professors at Marquette University encourage students to think differently about themselves and the world around them. Attending mass on Tuesday nights, sitting on the heated floor of the St. Joan of Arc chapel further moved me to broaden my perspective on God, Catholicism and society. And my participation in service and extracurricular activities, including The Marquette Tribune, led me to the entrepreneurial path I now enjoy.
Marquette was not just an institution offering degrees for students who attended classes. It was a transformational experience in a secluded, safe environment unlike any other I’ve been blessed to experience. Coming from a secular household as a first generation college student, my Jesuit education from Marquette University taught me how to serve others while simultaneously enjoying life taking care of my own mental, emotional, financial and spiritual needs. The life lessons I learned at Marquette are worth far more to me than the cost of tuition. Because of donors, I enjoyed a scholarship that put Marquette University within reach. I am now committed to giving back to Marquette University so that other first generation students also have the opportunity to Be the Difference.
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