Top 6 Moments of 2016

Gettysburg College campus scenic.

There are some events that Gettysburgians know to look forward to each year—things like celebrating our graduating students at Commencement, and welcoming our newest Gettysburgians at Orientation. And there are the personal milestones our students, faculty, and alums accomplish each year, too—like conducting original research on political movements that span continents, tackling issues of housing insecurity in their local community, or impacting the national election.

So many of these moments and achievements wouldn't be possible without generous gifts to Gettysburg College. And for that, we celebrate all of our loyal supporters who make these experiences possible.

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Take a look at some of our favorite moments of 2016, and share your own on social media!

Notable visits

From a town hall stop from presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard to a visit from LeVar Burton talking to students about politics, history, and importance of storytelling, this year saw no shortage of notable visits.

 The auditorium filled with Bernie Sanders supporters.

In between, Steve and Cokie Roberts delivered the 2016 Commencement address, former presidential candidate and congressman Dr. Ron Paul ’57 spoke at the Constitution Day lecture, and the Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman and MSNBC’s Hardball’s host Chris Matthews spoke with students about their political opinions.

“Here at Gettysburg, a liberal arts institution, you all have been taught to understand and appreciate facts and analyses that bolster a great argument,” Fineman said.

“This conversation is the best in the country. You don’t get this kind of exposure anywhere else,” Matthews agreed.

Ron Paul speaking to an audience in the CUB Ballroom.

Inspiring moments

This past year, the entire nation watched as Tyra Riedemonn ’20 received her acceptance to Gettysburg College—her first-choice college—from Al Roker and her College Bound Initiative college counselor on the TODAY Show.

“This was the best way to receive this news,” Riedemonn said. “I feel like all of my hard work has paid off and I’m so glad to be coming to Gettysburg. I can’t wait to start!”

Another inspiring moment?

Chris Gwinn ’06 delivering the 14th annual First Year Walk address.

“Wherever you go at Gettysburg, you are surrounded by history,” Gwinn said. “By going to school here, you become, even if only in a small way, a part of that history. You are afforded the opportunity to contribute to it. I challenge you to find your ‘great task,’ define your great work, and in all that you do, to live greatly.”

Great work

It was a busy year for our students, faculty, and alums.

Students conducted original research and presented it at the eighth annual Celebration. They launched businesses, thrived in summer internships, built a computer program in order to analyze research, and conducted innovative research while studying abroad, too.

We caught up with our history, film studies, and psychology majors to learn more about their career options. Sophie Kashurba ’15 established a world record for cross country running in order to raise awareness about mental health, and Jason McCaffrey ’94 is changing consumer perceptions and trends as Patagonia’s Director of Surf.

Dancing frogsBiology Prof. Ryan Kerney solved a 134-year-old mystery, and classics and anthropology Prof. Ben Luley discovered a first-century tavern, and classics Prof. Carolyn Snively uncovered a fifth-century city where no record of one exists. We took a close look at the many different ways our faculty members support the campus community, and checked out their latest publications, too.

Exceptional Accolades

Beyond the annual institutional rankings, all of the great work of our students, faculty, and alums garnered its own attention this past year, earning them notable rankings and awards in their own right.

Women’s Lacrosse Head Coach Carol Cantele ’83 P’15 was honored with the the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association’s (IWLCA) Diane Geppi-Aikens Memorial Award, following a season when both women’s and men’s lacrosse were named Centennial Conference champions. Luke Lawrence ’16 was awarded an NCAA postgraduate scholarship—the 11th student-athlete in school history to receive such a distinction.

 The Women’s Lacrosse team poses with the Centennial Conference championship banner after their win.

Chairman emeritus of the Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg College Susan Eisenhower received the highest French order for military and civil distinction, the National Order of the Legion of Honour.

Important anniversaries

2016 was also a year of notable anniversaries. The Garthwait Leadership Center celebrated five years of serving as a leadership hub on campus. Sunderman Conservatory of Music commemorated its tenth anniversary by hosting a number of marquee events on the Gettysburg campus and at the historic Majestic Theater. The Center for Public Service has been inspiring students to think critically and act compassionately for 25 years. And after 30 years, Africana Studies has celebrated its impact across campus—from the courses they offer to the students to the programming and lectures they provide each year.

Planning for the future

From renovating integral campus spaces to elevating the intellectual climate of campus, this year has been marked by notable new initiatives and strategic plans.

The Gettysburg Cycle was kicked off with the Year of Food—providing students with the opportunity to learn more about the central role food plays in our lives both close to home and around the world.

Year of Food lecturer poses with food and pictures from past events.

We saw plans for the transformation of Plank Gym into a modernized spaced for global initiatives. A campus-wide, student-led townhall engaged the community in conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusivity. And Gettysburg Great: The Campaign for Our College travelled to Boston, giving our New England parents, alums, and friends an inside look at programs that the campaign has elevated.


Finally, the launch of The Unfinished Word: A Strategic Direction for Gettysburg College showed us what the future of a Gettysburg education will look like—with a focus on Impact, Inclusion & Internationalization, and Innovation.

Posted: Fri, 23 Dec 2016

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