St. Lawrence: Always Happy to Help
The past year has taught me to never underestimate the power and significance of saying thank you. Too often we forget to acknowledge the people who have helped us, when a simple letter or email can go a long way. While this is common courtesy, since the beginning of this year I noticed that I was sending quite a few emails with 'Thank You' as the subject line. I realized that I was saying thank you so much because everyone I reached out to did their best to help me in any way possible. Whether they knew me, or we were meeting for the first time, they put effort into helping me, and I try to do the same. St. Lawrence has been happy to help me anytime that I have asked, and in the future I hope to be able to do the same for Laurentians.
I don’t think I’ll stop being amazed by the things that my friends have done to help me in my classes. For example, there was a time that my friend stayed with me listening to a 90-minute presentation that I was giving the next day. She didn’t have to do this! Or, when my other friend spent three hours helping me test my computer science homework so that it would work correctly. And, while this proves that I have awesome friends, it is indicative of the greater culture at St. Lawrence-one of collaboration and teamwork.
I have always been amazed that St. Lawrence is ranked third in the nation for our alumni network. And, I knew that it was good, but I didn’t really realize what that meant until I went on our SLU Connect-Washington, D.C., program. I have always been interested in government but unsure of what that would specifically mean. As we went from event to event, it struck me how genuinely interested each alumnus seemed, giving me advice that ranged from what to do in the summer to how to explore the different options that Washington, D.C., offers. In addition, I had the opportunity to attend SLU Connect-San Francisco, which gave me even more options when it came to potential careers. The experience was invaluable, not only because of the connections that I made, but because I realized that I had options. The issue is no longer that I don’t know what I want to do, it’s that now I have too many to choose from.
Something that a lot of people don’t know is that between February 11–13, 1949, Dr. Harry Reiff ran the first-ever Model United Nations Conference at St. Lawrence.* I was just as surprised to find this out last March – especially because I was the President of St. Lawrence's Model United Nations Club. I decided that I needed to reach out to someone about the possibility of the Model U.N. Club running a conference to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the event. As we met with the different members of the University that would help us plan and execute this, I was always struck by the enthusiasm everyone had when they heard my idea. Instead of brushing us off or ignoring us, they seriously considered our proposal and helped us plan a conference that was better than I could have imagined. It went so well that we are hoping to make it an annual event that improves year after year.
Finally, while St. Lawrence has come to feel like family, for me it is actually also family. I am a fourth-generation Laurentian, dating back to my great-grandfather who graduated from St. Lawrence in 1930. My aunt, Deena McCullough ’84, started talking about St. Lawrence with me when I was in 8th or 9th grade, and the rest is history. She makes it a point to make the two-hour drive from her house in Plattsburgh to Canton at least twice a semester, and always finds a way to catch up with me, whether its dinner or a quick trip to the Pub. My grandparents are always eager to exchange stories, where I tell them about the St. Lawrence of the present and they tell me stories of the St. Lawrence of the past.
*Editor's Note: A small group of other colleges had hosted similar events prior to 1949 when the intergovernmental organization was known as the League of Nations. St. Lawrence is proud to have been the first to host an event following the organization's name change to 'United Nations' in 1945.