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"Hands Down, It’s the People"
By Neal S. Burdick ’72

The Questions We Asked

  • What single thing most attracted you to St. Lawrence?
  • What do you most recommend to potential applicants about the University?

The response to both questions is the same: the small classes.

After my freshman year, with one exception (Shakespeare), I never had a class bigger than 12 students. To top it off, in my senior year, I had Advanced Partial Differential Equations at 8:00 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, with only four students in it. Try not doing your homework in a class that size; there isn't a desk big enough to crawl under when the professor says, "Mr. Amson, give me the third derivative of 3(xy) cubed + n(4zy) squared" and all you can come up with at eight o’clock in the morning is "Humma humma humma, I forgot to do my homework."
Jonathan Amson ’60

Hands down, it’s the people.  I had an excellent tour guide, and everyone I met on my visits to campus took time out of their day to talk to me, which didn't happen at any other school I looked at.  Now, whenever I think of St. Lawrence, I think of the friendships I've formed as a result of being there. 
Adam Casler ’06  

Why should anyone attend St. Lawrence? One step on campus demonstrates the friendliness of its people--students, faculty, staff, maintenance folks - everyone! You feel like you belong. And after graduation, no matter whom you meet or how old they are, there is a special bond that I have never witnessed in anyone but someone who has gone to St. Lawrence. All three jobs I had after graduation came as a result of an SLU grad hiring me because I also had St. Lawrence on my resume.
Pat Fenstermacher May '63

My father still talks about one of the tour guides; he didn't need to pretend to like SLU--you could tell how much he loved being there.
Ryan Luley '01

What attracted me? A university with a superior, interactive and personable math department and, throughout, an excellent professor-to-student ratio. What’s the best thing? A dynamic liberal arts education with unlimited opportunities to explore and develop one’s skills in being a global citizen, on a beautiful campus.
Martha Root Peterson ’62

As I got to know the people who worked at SLU, they made me feel like I was special and someone they really wanted to have there, not a number or a name without a face. The academic programs were also attractive, especially the freedom to try new things such as creating your own major, customizing your senior project, or studying abroad anywhere even if SLU doesn't have a specific program where you want to go. 
Karoline Chrzanowski ‘06

I took classes in so many different departments that my education was ultimately much more well-rounded than it would have been had I chosen to pigeonhole myself in a program at a larger university.  During my junior and senior years, only one of my classes had more than eight students in it, a ratio that fostered excellent debate, discussion and a sense of ownership of the classes  SLU offers pretty much everything you could want - if it doesn't exist, there's a really good chance you'll find the support to create it!
Rachel Peterson ’04

What I tell people who ask why a young person should go to St. Lawrence is, "Everyone there will be interested in you and your St. Lawrence experience." 
Frank Shields ’54

The sense that the school truly cared about its students went a long way.  The beautiful campus didn't hurt any!  The classes are small, which allows for great faculty-student interactions.  High-quality research as an undergrad may be easier at a small liberal arts school because you get to work with your faculty advisors and not for them.  The student-alumni connection is strong across the board.  How it is expressed in each discipline differs--and that too makes SLU a special place with special people.
Sarah Zimmerman McElfresh '98

I was introduced to St. Lawrence by area alumni who spoke of the strong bonds, academic profile and culture of the school.  I was attracted to the bucolic setting and close-knit community.  St. Lawrence grants you the benefit of close relationships with your professors, a strong academic experience and robust alumni connection to encourage life-long ties with the St. Lawrence community.
Ursula Arello ’89

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