Ryan Melone '14 Named Hamilton's 36th GOLD Scholar
Illustrative of the power of many GOLD gifts
May 5, 2011
Name: Ryan Melone
Hometown: Cary, Illinois
High School: Cary-Grove High School
Campus activities: Intramural Sports, Resident Advisor Applicant
Last Movie Seen in Theaters: Tron Legacy
Favorite Movie: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Favorite Place you’ve lived on campus: Wertimer House
Last Book Read: The Fallen
Favorite Book: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Hobbies/Interests: Soccer, graphic novels, exercise, watching TV shows/ movies
Favorite Place on Campus: KJ main area by the water
Favorite Campus Dining Location: Commons Mezzanine
Fondest Hamilton Memory To-Date: Meeting my friends
Favorite Quote: “He who has hope has everything.” –Asian Proverb
Where did you grow up and what was life like there?
My home town of Cary, Illinois is what I would consider an average suburban town. About an hour-and-a-half northwest of Chicago (forty minutes if my father drives), it is a nice place to live with a friendly atmosphere and plenty of housing styles and sizes to choose from. Growing up, I never had any real complaints, unless it didn’t snow very much during the winter. When I wasn’t taking care of schoolwork, I had a number of ways to occupy my time as a kid, whether I was playing community sports, riding my bike on warm days, hanging out with my friends at a movie or the basement of choice for that week, or just relaxing at home with my pets. Life was usually fairly busy, but I was never unsatisfied with it.
What is your family like?
My family as a whole has always been very supportive of me and my goals in life. My parents especially have always encouraged me to do everything to the best of my ability, yet have always been there to lend a hand when I need it. My mother was always the one who would push me to make the efforts necessary to accomplish my goals and would always challenge me to improve myself. As a compliment to her, my father was the one who always told me to set goals that, while not unrealistic, would be challenging and lofty. As a pair, my parents managed to help shape me, my drive to achieve, and my work ethic, which has been invaluable to my education. My brother has also played a vital role in shaping me as a student and a person. He is almost three years younger, so I always feel as though I need to set an example for him. As such, he has helped make sure that I’m always trying to do my best at any endeavor I undertake so that I can convince him to do the same. As friends, we’re not perfect, but we get along well and come through for one another when it counts. I wouldn’t trade him for any other sibling.
How did you discover Hamilton?
I found Hamilton in a Baron’s Guide book to colleges in America. Hamilton fit all my criteria: it was small, liberal arts, away from home (but not too far), and one of the most academically competitive schools in the country. After learning all this, I looked at the web site and decided that it was worth paying a visit. In the spring of my junior year of high school, I visited the school with both a guided tour and an interview. My tour guide did an incredible job of “selling the school” to me; I left the tour with a great feeling about Hamilton. I decided that Hamilton College was the school for me when I realized that I was comparing every other school I looked at to Hamilton. That told me that Hamilton was definitely where I wanted to be. More importantly, Hamilton just felt right after a while. The school itself gave me a great feeling inside. Lo and behold, my feeling was correct.
What were your first impressions of the College? Do you find they’re still true today?
My first impression of Hamilton was that it would be a place where I could be free. I had felt incredibly constrained by the lifestyle that surrounded junior high and high school, and freedom, both academic and social, was something I needed. Hamilton gave me the impression that I could be free to be me, and I have felt that freedom to this day. The college also made me feel like it would be a place for me to grow not only as a student, but as a community member, friend, and as a person altogether. While my time here is still young, I do think I have felt that growth take place, and I expect to continue to grow in the years to come.
What are three defining elements of your time on the Hill?
My time at Hamilton has been an incredible experience and I find it difficult to pick only three elements to define it. Alas, these three stand out above all the rest:
- Work: I do not simply mean the amount of work I have to do. I have a lot of work to do, but it has helped me discover the best ways for me to accomplish what I must by a deadline. My habits have improved, and my work ethic has remained rock steady, and for this I am thankful.
- Friendship: It has only been about one year and I have already made friends I will keep for the rest of my life. I have shared many good times with great people, and I expect more to come.
- Fun: At the root of it all, I am having the time of my life here on the Hill. My classes are interesting and engaging, my friends are fantastic, and the campus and all its available activities have eliminated the possibility of a dull moment. I can only hope that the fun lasts as long as possible.
GOLD Scholars is an initiative supported by the Annual Fund, which has always provided direct support for the College's most important current priorities, especially scholarship aid. Since 2006 gifts from the GOLD Group – Graduates of the Last Decade – specifically support students on campus. With each $15,000 increment collectively contributed, the College will select a student as a GOLD Scholar.