John admits that Hamilton wasn’t initially on his list of potential colleges. But when he visited from Burnt Hills, N.Y., he was instantly struck by the idea that Hamilton was “what a college is supposed to look like!” Now a history major with a minor in French, John is moved by the generosity and “vaunted sense of community” on campus. He finds his professors devoted to their students, although he admitted that he was surprised and pleased to find one rumor true: “By the end of my first year, I had eaten meals at every one of my professors’ houses – I couldn’t believe that!”
John feels that some of his most important learning at Hamilton happens outside the classroom. Since his tendency is to sometimes over-schedule, he has absorbed the importance of time management and prioritization. “I’ve learned that it’s sometimes best to invest yourself entirely in just one or two activities,” he says.
After Hamilton, John may pursue a career as a museum curator, which will allow him to present historical material in ways that convey the depth, beauty and significance of the human experience, although he also admits jokingly that he would just like to be able to “touch the stuff with the ‘do not touch’ signs on it.” He is also considering pursuing his passion for writing with a foray into journalism.
He credits Hamilton’s long tradition of teaching “simple, vigorous prose,” with helping him improve his writing. On campus he co-edits the humor publication The Duel Observer and works as a writer for the Media Relations Office. John readily admits that many discussions he has had at Hamilton have had a lasting impact on him, sometimes in unexpected ways. He recalls Professor of Music Michael “Doc” Woods once telling him, “You can’t swing when you’re uptight,” a piece of musical advice that John now regards as a kind of mantra, to wit: You work best when you’re relaxed, engaged and happy — just as John is at Hamilton.
The 1812 Leadership Circle recognizes Hamilton’s most generous supporters whose contributions form a living endowment that goes directly to the heart of a Hamilton education. Unrestricted gifts provide a significant source of financial aid. Gifts of $25,000 and more constitute roughly the equivalent of the average Hamilton financial aid package. In honor of donors at that level, Hamilton names an 1812 Leadership Circle Scholar.