Kenneth Ratliff ’16 arrived at Hamilton from Mansfield, Mass., hoping to become a skilled writer, a capable composer, fluent in a foreign language, more well-read and more athletic. While this list is certainly ambitious, Kenneth has developed the discipline and focus necessary to make much of it happen. “I may not be the modern-day DaVinci, but I have done much more than I realistically expected,” he says, “and that has given me confidence that I can continue to achieve greater things.”
As the son of two college professors, Kenneth knew from a young age that he wanted to attend a small, liberal arts college. What ultimately led him to choose Hamilton, however, was the quality of the students he met when he visited campus — students who “were simultaneously impressively intelligent and very down-to-earth.”
Since then, Kenneth’s appreciation of Hamilton’s community has only grown. Through his coursework and participation in a Bible Study, the Secular Society and as a peer tutor in the Quantitative & Symbolic Reasoning Center, he has met a diverse group of people. Yet despite their multiple perspectives, he has found that they all get along and have something meaningful to say.
At the encouragement of his advisor, Kenneth has expanded his intellectual horizons by taking classes across academic disciplines. While his primary interests are physics and mathematics, he has enjoyed exploring areas like poetry and literature. In each of the classes he has found the professors to be “brilliant and personable, all able to communicate incredibly abstract concepts in relatable, yet not patronizing, terms.” Of the many skills he has acquired at Hamilton, none has been as important or as useful as the ability to manage time well — a skill that will no doubt come in handy when he goes on to pursue graduate study in particle physics.
Kenneth realizes that his positive Hamilton experiences would not be possible without the generous financial aid package he received thanks to donor support. He is deeply grateful to the College for providing him “with a top-notch education from some of the most brilliant minds in any in field.”