Homecoming 2013 Throwback Gallery

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Who’s Calling?: Sam Norris ’15

The phone will ring. You’ll recognize the number, excitedly wondering who you’ll get to talk to during Centre’s Fall Phonathon. In this series, we will shed some light on that mystery, and offer you some background information on this Fall’s Phonathon callers, so you will know who’s calling when you pick up the phone. (Or, if Phonathon isn’t really your thing, you can make a gift online.)

sam norris photo

Sam Norris ’15 is a caller for Centre College’s Fall 2013 Phonathon.

Name and Class Year: Sam Norris ’15

Where are you from? What’s your major? I was born in Oregon, and I have family in Pittsburgh, but for all intents and purposes I’d definitely call Danville my home. I’m majoring in chemistry, and considering graduate school after Centre.

 

What are you involved in on campus? I am a brother of Delta Kappa Epsilon. Involvement with that as well as IM sports, working in the chemistry labs, and of course schoolwork means I’ve got plenty on my plate.

Why do you participate in Phonathon? I do the Phonathon not only because it provides an integral part of Centre’s operating budget, but also because it gives me a chance to talk to alumni. There are some great stories to hear about Centre in “the good ol’ days”.

What is your favorite discussion topic when you make a call? I never go into a phone call with a plan; some who answer are busy and I don’t want to force a conversation that someone isn’t interested in having. That being said, I love to talk about anything that’s happening around Danville, especially homecoming, since so many alums come back to campus.

What’s your favorite aspect of the Centre Experience? 

It’s hard to pick one, so I’ll pick two.
1. The professors
2. The fact that it really feels like the school is built around people, not money or buildings or statistics.

 

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Who’s Calling?: Jennifer Hormell ’14

The phone will ring. You’ll recognize the number, excitedly wondering who you’ll get to talk to during Centre’s Fall Phonathon. In this series, we will shed some light on that mystery, and offer you some background information on this Fall’s Phonathon callers, so you will know who’s calling when you pick up the phone. (Or, if Phonathon isn’t really your thing, you can make a gift online.)

hormell image for profile

Jennifer Hormell ’14 is a Phonathon caller this fall.

Name and Class Year: Jennifer Hormell ’14

Where are you from? What’s your major? I come from the thriving metropolis of Shelbyville, Kentucky and I’m currently pursuing a major in government.

What are you involved in on campus? I’m currently serving as a residence director, Vice President of Membership for Tri Delta, a member of Student Judiciary, a student representative for the government department, and a Phonathon caller.

What does the phrase “The Centre Experience” mean to you? Invested professors, a thriving community of dedicated and driven students, opportunities to travel the world, life lessons, personal growth, and some of the best friends you’ll ever have.

What, if anything, makes you nervous when you call for Phonathon? Last names, hands down. Some alums have really interesting last names, and I don’t have a clue how to pronounce them.

What is your most memorable Phonathon call so far? I had the opportunity to speak to an alum who helped organize the only anti-war rally that Danville’s ever had during the Vietnam War. It’s great to know that no matter what years you’re at Centre, students are always engaged and ready to impact their community

 

 

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“Who do I work for again?”

By Morgan Terry ’13
Centre College Development Fellow

After I leave the office, I head back to my apartment to eat dinner and get in a quick workout. I’ll shower (or Febreeze myself), head back to work and wait for my bosses to arrive. I’m not waiting to meet with Shawn Lyons ‘81, Jacky Seaver ‘02 or Krista Rinehart ‘99. Instead, a group of about eight Centre students come in, harass me about snacks, pick up some old phones and start dialing the Happiest Alumni in the Nation.

I’m the Phonathon Guy.

While most of you reading this know nothing about me, I have no doubt that I have stirred up strong feelings. Believe me, I get it. Telemarketers can be annoying. They secretly plot to call at the most inconvenient times, solely to thwart all fun, happiness and smiles. I’ve been known to perpetrate the most extreme and outlandish situations to “be in” just to get them off the phone. “Sorry I can’t talk right now, this cop who just pulled me over is giving me the eye,” or “I’m actually burying all my money in the backyard right now because the banks are evil,” were common excuses I would tell telemarketers just to get them off the phone.

Have I become my own enemy? No. I am not a telemarketer. None of the Phonathon callers are telemarketers. We are stewards and representatives of Centre College.

This isn’t the pot calling the kettle black, but I will admit there are a few similarities. We do push a product, and we do call people to do it. But that’s about it. We’re not trying to turn a profit by selling you a subscription to Sky Mall. We don’t do surveys that enter you in a raffle for a free laptop, jet ski or iPad. What we ask of you is something much more meaningful. We’re asking you to help our students experience the same personal education and achieve the same extraordinary success as you have.

We’ve all heard some form of “Children are the future” and know that a college degree, especially from a school like Centre, can provide countless opportunities for success. While this was reason enough for me to give, I put the clichés aside and instead reflect upon my own Centre experience when I pull out my wallet. I think about the hours spent in Crounse, writing papers in the Campus Center, and late night Grille Food. Fond memories of going from the After-School Program to an SGA meeting to a study group. Conversations about politics and philosophy at one in the morning during a party at the Deke House. Flame runs.

My job is to make sure these experiences stay a part of Centre. I work for the students. These students come here expecting an incredibly unique and rewarding college experience. It’s our job to make them happen.

Notice I said “our.” I’m just one of the organizers. It’s up to all of us in the Centre Mafia to step up and provide these experiences for our students the way others did for us. Campus has changed, but the Centre Experience never will. Not if I have anything to do with it.

Morgan Terry photoMorgan, a Nashville native, graduated from Centre in 2013 with a BA in Economics. He joined the Development Office after graduating and is mainly responsible for managing Centre’s Phonathon and advising the Student Advancement Board. Morgan also serves on the Alumni Advisory Board for the Iota Chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon, a chapter he helped re-colonize as a student. In his free time, Morgan can be found playing his guitar or ukulele, telling slightly exaggerated stories or loudly cheering for the Tennessee Volunteers—even though it will probably be another disappointing season.

 

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Love, Layoffs and Liberal Arts: Why Centre Grads Are the Happiest (Most of the Time)

by Laura Boswell ’94

Recently, my phone’s message light blinked green-green-green above an impossibility: a message from my 20-year-old nephew, Hunter. And not his usual grunt response to some sports story I texted him:

—“Tom Brady just threw a touchdown so hard the CHEERLEADERS CAUGHT FIRE!!!”

—“Yup.”

No, this was, like, full sentences. He was going on a Kenyan mission trip, with a stopover in London. He knew I had studied there during my Centre days and wanted to know what sites to squeeze in.

So I advised him on key landmarks: Big Ben, Parliament, Piccadilly Circus’ neon thrum. But I realized that my happiest London memories weren’t those famous places, but the tiny moments, the ones you don’t scratch into a travel journal. You’re not having tea with the queen; you’re sitting in the dorm room window with your roommate Lynn, swinging your feet and feeding the geese below with crust from the all-you-can-eat buffet pizza you pilfered under your jackets because you’re so Pound-poor.

Laura Boswell '94 (right) and her friend, Lynn, on a post-Centre trip to Miami.

Laura Boswell ’94 (right) and her friend, Lynn, on a post-Centre trip to Miami.

Yet that window is where you become best friends, even today.

My Centre career as a whole was much the same. Of course I enjoyed my classes–even edified my shipmates with a dormant lode of Humanities training on Ionic columns during a recent Greece trip (you are welcome!).

But what I remember most are Keeneland’s foamy spring afternoons, and my volleyball team FINALLY beating Midway College my senior year and running the Flame (full-on nekkid) in celebration. I remember professors who came to our games, ate with us in Cowan. In other words, the community.

Centre wasn’t perfect; there was unkindness, there was heartbreak. There were times when I wondered if I’d made the right choice. Being emotionally…prickly serves me well as a grown-up writer; it’s not so good at 19 when you can’t sneeze without 1,000 people knowing.

But then I’d join my friends on our Goodwill couches and watch “90210,” then go raid the Deke or Phi Delt or SAE living rooms or—anyone who was awake, frankly—and dance. Dance! Hip-hop, Bob Marley, “The Time Warp”—it didn’t matter. Each group of friends was different—their music, their hometowns, their beliefs, but we were all in it together on that tiny, dry campus.

Of course we were happy then. So why does the Alumni Factor rank Centre alums so happy now? What makes us so special? Like any college alums, we’ve had to endure life’s pitfalls: job searches, relocation, divorces, deaths, layoffs (including Careerbuilder, for me. CAREERBUILDER!).

This last year wasn’t exactly banner for The Boz. A “reorganization” at the non-profit where I’d worked for a decade led to 10 months of joblessness for this single female writer in an economy as stable as Miley Cyrus. Happy? Ha.

But even as I contemplated moving home with my mother and knitting dog-fur sweaters, my Centre determination kicked in, and so did its community. I launched a sports blog, successful in no small part due to my Centre friends who were there to laugh, to cry, to send my resume to Pluto if they had to because that’s what we did for each other then, and now.

I’ve got nothing against big schools—Hunter makes good grades, loves his University of Tennessee buddies. But when he soon enters a difficult workforce, I worry a school of 30,000 won’t offer Centre’s pleasant paradox: the smaller we are, the harder we fight for each other, ourselves. With Centre we can rely on that same community we built in those classrooms, on the courts, on those crappy couches. I just don’t think you get that anywhere else but the geographical center of Kentucky.

Because I live—and yes, work again, thank you—in Washington DC, testing myself every day alongside, arguably, the world’s best brains (trust me, it’s Washington, just ask them). And winning. At least I think so, thanks to Centre.

Then I go home, crank up my Bel Biv Devoe, eat all the pizza I want, and call Lynn. That’s happiness. Big happiness, from a small school, then and now.

Laura Boswell '94

Laura Boswell is a Washington, DC-based journalist covering travel, sports, and culture for outlets including ESPN.com, The Washington Post, and The Travel Channel. She writes a sports blog for women, The Ladies Room, and currently works as a marketing specialist for the National Association of Home Builders. She can be reached on Facebook, at @lauraeboswell or laura.boswell@ladiesroomsports.com.

 

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