Almuna reflects on the little things

Almuna+reflects+on+the+little+things

When I began the college search process, I had very few stipulations as to what kind of school I wanted to attend. I knew that I wanted to go to a small school because I liked the tight-knit feel. After touring numerous colleges and universities, I decided that one particular establishment was perfect for me.
It didn’t take long for Gannon University’s breathtaking architecture and overall feel to win me over. On the day my parents dropped me off at Finegan Hall on freshman move-in day, I fell in love. Everything just fell into place. My classes, professors, hall mates and schedule seemed to be tailored to me and I couldn’t get enough.
From freshman year to senior year, Gannon University found a way to keep me captivated with everything it had to offer.
Now that I am a proud alumna, I have the chance to sit back and reflect on what really drew me in and it’s taken me this long to realize that it was Gannon’s great pride in tradition. It was always the little things that we looked forward to every day.
One of the first traditions I had the pleasure of taking part in was accepting the elements that Erie, Pa. so graciously offers to any and all of its inhabitants. The snowstorms were outrageous but Campus Ministry was always bundled up on AJ’s Way handing out hot cocoa to anyone who needed to defrost.
You don’t realize when you are living in the moment, but when you have a chance to sit back and reflect, it’s always the little details that seem to make the biggest impact.
Every student dreaded packing into Nash Library during finals week, but it was part of the experience. There were always plenty of buildings on campus with open classrooms and quiet settings where we could dive into exam prep, but Nash was the place to be.
Although it was packed, and the natives had a tendency to get a little loud, there was something about suffering through finals together that made it all OK. We would be kidding ourselves if we said the free Porky’s pizza at midnight didn’t have any impact on our attendance.
I’m confident in saying that most other schools have traditions that are special to their students, but there is just something about the feel of Gannon’s campus that other schools cannot compete with.
I refuse to believe that any other university could be as enthusiastic about honoring St. Patrick on his designated holiday as we were, and ringing in Advising Day with our “friends turned family” is second to none. We know all too well the infamous Finegan versus Wehrle war and how anyone will fight to the death defending their beloved residence hall. Again, it’s the little things in life that mean the most.
This year, having been my first time attending the annual Homecoming celebration as an alumna, I was able to reminisce with other former students about the Gannon traditions we still hold close. Graduates talked about everything from Midnight Pancake breakfast to the houses they lived in every year and what they look like now.
Every year Gannon strives to improve and advance to accommodate a new population of students. Since I have graduated, the Recreation and Wellness Center has been completely redesigned, and I believe good old Nash is not so far behind.
In the spirit of change and academic advancement, I could not be prouder of my esteemed establishment and its movement for future generations to thrive. At the end of the day, no matter how different the campus may appear, or how the student population may change, every Knight knows that our beloved traditions will always remain.
SARAH HOFFMAN ‘14
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