Eisenhower Institute


Ann Moran P'16 reflects on her daughter’s journey through Gettysburg College

Nearly four years ago, we began our Gettysburg experience with the typical campus visit and follow-up admissions interview. To our good fortune, our daughter, Alexandra, was accepted as a member of the class of 2016. From that point on, the ordinary college experience became extraordinary.

When registering for classes for the first time, Alexandra was terribly disappointed to learn her top choice for a first-year seminar—“The Bush Administration: A Post 9/11 Response to Counter Terrorism Policies” taught by Prof. Shirley Anne Warshaw— was already filled to capacity. However, several days later, a fellow freshman posted that one seat had become available. This Political Science class, along with the mentorship of Prof. Warshaw, is what would ignite Alexandra’s passion for the field and guide her entire college career.

Soon she was involved with the Eisenhower Institute as a participant in “Inside Politics,” mentored by Mr. Kasey Pipes— biographer, historian, and speechwriter for President George W. Bush and others. This semester-long experience allowed Alexandra to meet and learn with top field experts and elected officials associated with her specific branch of study. At this point, my husband and I realized we had lost our daughter to Washington, D.C., and its political scene forever.

During her sophomore year, Alexandra traveled to both West Point and the Naval Academy for the SCUSA and NAFAC conferences respectively. Both conferences, highlighting the unique dynamic and interaction between civilian and military participants, explored challenging foreign policy issues and scenarios. Also in her second year, Alexandra took part in an independent study course and penned a forty-plus page narrative on US-Iran relations. This paper, a three-year endeavor, culminated in her participation in a program offered through the Center for the Study of the Presidency and the Congress in Washington, D.C.

As a prospective student back in 2012, Alexandra was confidently told that  “Gettysburg is majorly connected on the Hill.” She certainly found this to be true during her participation in Gettysburg College’s Washington Semester Program at American University. In addition to her classwork, Alexandra interned at the Federalist Society and learned daily that Gettysburgians do truly have a dominating presence in D.C. Another internship at the Republican National Committee furthered this understanding. She met alumni on the metro, at think tank sponsored policy debates, and while exploring the Capitol mall.  Similarly, she continued to run into students met at previous conferences and symposiums. This “circle of people,” all dedicated to their studies and careers, continues to resurface time and time again.

As parents, my husband John and I are absolutely thrilled with the exceptional educational experience provided by Gettysburg College. Certainly, Alexandra has worked diligently, but we realize the opportunities made available to her have been truly extraordinary. We recently witnessed Alexandra speak at the Metropolitan Club in Washington D.C. during a celebration honoring Mr. Fred Fielding and the launch of the Fielding Center for Presidential Leadership Study. We marveled as she calmly delivered her words with confidence and polish in a room filled with over 150 people. Later, when we conveyed our pride and amazement with her public speaking abilities, she simply said, “These are my people, I feel at home here.”

So now, as her senior year is reaching its end, and as we wait for Alexandra to cross through Penn Hall leaving the trusted tutelage of Gettysburg College’s fine faculty and staff, we are secure in the knowledge that she received an extraordinary education. She is prepared and excited and so very eager to put all her preparations into action. We know that as Alexandra pursues her career interests and dreams, she will always think of Gettysburg with pride and gratitude in her heart. As parents, we will, too. Our Gettysburg Class of 2016 flag, purchased on Alexandra's accepted students day, will proudly fly at our home for years to come!

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

By Ann Moran P’16, mother of Alexandra Moran ’16, Political Science major

Contact: Carina Sitkus, senior assistant director of communications, 717.337.6803

Posted: Tue, 15 Dec 2015

Share this story: