• Misty (left) with Heidi Blackwell ’99

Misty Hood Whitlock ’00

My defining moment at Oglethorpe was the day I booked my first trip abroad with Heidi Blackwell ’99, back in March 1999. Heidi and I started out as friends in elementary school, and although we didn’t attend the same high school we each separately decided to matriculate to Oglethorpe. Spurred on by a big sale from British Airways, we booked a seven night trip to England following Heidi’s graduation. Although we did the trip on a true student’s shoestring budget, we had a wonderful time together, and that fantastic week opened me up to new cultures and experiences which has led to an addiction to travel. Since then, I’ve visited 23 countries ranging from nearby Caribbean islands to many countries in Europe to exotic destinations such as Australia, Vanuatu and Russia. Since our initial excursion abroad, Heidi and I have remained close friends and have been fortunate enough to travel on two additional trips together, to Italy and Ireland and Wales. My OU education has allowed me to appreciate art, architecture, music and food in every place I’ve explored, and has given me the ability to keep an open mind, enjoy and seek understanding of different cultures around the world. The big question since my defining moment has been and will continue to be: where to next?

 

  • Inside back cover - Clark_02

Heather ’03 & Brian Clark ’03

Heather Clark ’03 first discovered the Hearst beech tree in fall 2002. A senior, she and Brian Clark ’03, also a senior, had been dating for four years after knowing each other since middle school. As an early childhood education major, Heather was required to choose a campus tree and study it all semester. One October afternoon, Heather and Brian met at “her tree” to take an autumnal photo for Heather’s class. Much to Heather’s surprise, Brian proposed then and there, comparing their love to the mighty tree growing from a tiny seed. Brian and Heather married a few weeks after graduation in May 2003, and life has taken them on many adventures since then.

  • Heather Staniszewski option 2 Oglethorpe Story 04.22.13_Boston Marathon Fundraiser (5)

Heather Staniszewski ’02

You see hundreds of advertisements a day, but how many do you really absorb?

It was the spring semester of my senior year in high school and a poster caught my eye. Not because of the beautiful gothic architecture pictured on it, nor because of the quote from Aristotle, or even that for once there was a poster that wasn’t featuring a gator, knight, or Seminole. It was because the tear-off postcard said reply by November 1997 and it was 1998. I asked if it could be recycled and the counselor laughed and told me I might like a small liberal arts school in Atlanta. I had a roommate and a full tuition scholarship to a state school, but I completed the application to Oglethorpe anyway. My mom drove me to an info session two hours from my house and drilled the VP of Admission. I spoke to a current student for hours on the phone. I received a phone call from alumna Barb Henry inviting me to the infamous Spring Fest during which I stayed with three of the smartest and most involved women I have ever met.

Enter the personal OU touch. My admissions counselor came to Tampa, drove five of us Florida girls eight hours to visit the campus, and four years later three of those girls cheered me on as I gave the graduation speech to my fellow Class of 2002 Petrels. I never thought an expired poster would bring me to study communications and business, to meet my best friends, to work in foster care or hospice, or to lead students to serve everywhere from New Orleans to San Juan, Guatemala. Now, I leave expired posters up one more day hoping that someone reads it and changes their path for the better.

–Heather Staniszewski ’02, associate director, Center for Civic Engagement, Oglethorpe University