Hello, everyone! My name is Katie Beach ’21, and as a recent alumna and now an admissions counselor at Gettysburg College, one of my favorite parts of having conversations with our students is learning why they decided to apply Early Decision. I love hearing about their unique experiences in high school that led them to Gettysburg College. As the deadline approaches to apply Early Decision on November 15, I wanted to share some of those inspiring stories.
A very common reason for applying Early Decision at Gettysburg is the high-impact programs that can only be found here. Sociology major Haleigh McCarthy ’22 told me that she became intrigued by our programs and traditions because they were unique to Gettysburg.
“I was very interested in the Eisenhower Institute, a program other schools I was looking at did not have,” she said. “I also loved all the traditions that work to bring students together, such as the First-Year Walk, as well as the closeness of students and college faculty.”
Erica Messinger ’24, a music education major, also felt drawn to the rigorous programming at a Conservatory, noting that its music education program was “the best program” she found during her college search. “The people are wonderful and I feel I am flourishing as a musician here!" Messinger said.
Some students are also looking to pursue careers as performers with a liberal arts and sciences background, such as David Grant ’24, who studies music performance at the Conservatory.
“During my visit [to Gettysburg], I was impressed and very surprised with how far everyone had gone to make me feel welcome, appreciated, and at home," Grant said.
The Gettysburg community
Our academic and co-curricular programming, as well as our time-honored traditions, are essential parts of a great Gettysburg College experience. But it’s also its exceptional community that allows its students to grow and flourish.
“I value my education and feeling like I am a part of a community above all else,” political science major and philosophy minor Tess Pietila ’22 said. “Gettysburg is a great place to discover who you are while challenging you to become the greatest version of yourself.”
Part of my role as an admissions counselor includes ensuring students and their families get a sense of our community and have an outstanding campus visit. For example, Alicia Method ’23 fell in love with campus after spending time here for a high school summer program.
“I first visited campus as a rising senior in high school as a participant of the Young Writer's Workshop,” Method said. “I spent a week with other high school students during this workshop and got to experience life on campus! During this time, I could really see myself as a student at Gettysburg and fell in love with the professors I met and our beautiful campus."
Touring campus also allows students like health sciences major Giancarlo Castillo ’22 to connect early with potential professors and get a firsthand look at the opportunities within their intended major.
“Prof. [Josef] Brandauer in the [Health Sciences] Department talked to me while I was on tour and he was beyond inspiring,” Castillo said. “He made me feel welcomed and like I could feel his passion not only for medicine but also the school. He made me want to become a health sciences major and dedicate my life to helping others.”
Maddie Bergier ’22 had a similar experience with the Psychology Department.
“I first fell in love with Gettysburg when I met my current advisor, Nathalie Goubet, at Get Acquainted Day,” Bergier said. “As I attended the Psychology Department’s lecture, I found out about various faculty members’ fields of research. That day, I was able to connect with Prof. Goubet and her fellow research assistants and learn more about academics at Gettysburg and the plethora of opportunities to conduct research on campus.”
With robust campus recreation and intramural programs, as well as 24 varsity sports competing in the Centennial Conference at the NCAA Division III level, our students are active. They are supported in their academic pursuits as well as their co-curricular experiences on campus.
Greta Lacey ’25, a health sciences major who plays field hockey alongside her twin sister Charlotte, appreciates the balance between academics and athletics at Gettysburg.
“I could come to a great school academically and be challenged while also supporting a balance between athletics and my social life, which I loved,” Lacey said.
From academics to athletics and our community as a whole, there are many reasons why students apply Early Decision to Gettysburg College. I love witnessing the same reasons why I came to Gettysburg and now work for Gettysburg are resonating with students when they too discover Gettysburg College is the place for them. I hope that these snapshots of students’ stories illustrate that Gettysburg has a wide array of opportunities for students to explore their interests inside and outside the classroom.
To hear more stories and learn more, visit our Early Decision webpage. When you’re ready to share your story, start your application today!
By Katie Beach ’21
Photos by Peter Francis ’21 and courtesy of featured subjects