A Reunion Reflection

By Leslie Hast Hill ’08

The weekend ended like so many while we were students—with a good, long Cowan sit. For only $10, we commandeered a big round table, ate the exact same breakfast potatoes and relived the weekend.

I realized that none of the students I was eating with had ever experienced the previous Cowan—my Cowan—and that we had probably stolen someone’s table, with no knowledge of the new “seating chart.” We marveled at the waffles emblazoned with the college logo, but I missed those chairs that recline slightly and invite you to sit there forever. It was a perfect cap to our five-year reunion, to briefly feel like students again, even as all signs pointed to our age.

Jake and Leslie Hill

Jake and Leslie Hill, both members of the Class of 2008, celebrated their 5th reunion this year at Centre’s Homecoming Weekend.

Our reunion party was held in the Warehouse, where we used to meet at the Grille and hold Rocky Horror singalongs, but now mostly serves as office space. The party’s atmosphere was admittedly a little stiff until Roy Lee Wigginton ’08 broke out some speakers and we put on Brian and Taylor U’Sellis’ wedding reception dance mix. President and Mrs. Roush arrived just in time for a “Wagon Wheel” singalong, which I will always think of as our official class song.

I experienced a little reunion bonus when Roy Lee presented me with a letter I wrote myself at orientation in June 2004, just before starting at Centre. He found it while working in the Student Life Office and saved it from the trash. The letter perfectly captured my anxiety at starting a new chapter in life, wondering how everything would turn out.

Nine years later, I really couldn’t imagine a more fulfilling life, and I have Centre to thank for so much of it.

Even before being indoctrinated in Roush’s Rules, I wrote to myself: “I hope you have no regrets, because life gives you so many chances to just start again fresh.” In our five years post-Centre, there have been marriages and births, moves and new jobs and more degrees. But no matter what changes, Centre is always here to welcome us home. I can’t wait to be back in five years to see how we’ve all changed again. The only true constant is our loyalty to Centre Dear.

Leslie Hast Hill headshotLeslie Hast Hill is a writer and editor in the Office of News & Communications at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She lives in East Nashville with her husband Jake Hill ’08.

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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.)

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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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