Lukas Bridenbeck ’13 is Named Hamilton's 28th GOLD Scholar

Lukas Bridenbeck '13
Lukas Bridenbeck '13
High School: LaSalle Institute, East Greenbush, N.Y.
Major: Undeclared
Campus activities: Varsity baseball (catcher); Student assistant trainer (work study)
Last Movie Seen in Theaters: Shutter Island
Favorite Movie: Rudy
Favorite Song:
Grey Street by The Dave Matthews Band
Favorite Place You’ve Lived on Campus: Keehn
Last Book Read:
Azerbaijan Diary: A Rogue Reporter’s Adventures in an Oil-Rich, War-Torn, Post-Soviet Republic by Thomas Goltz
Favorite Book: The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Playing baseball, basketball and football. Doing almost anything with my friends.
Favorite Place on Campus: Playing a baseball game on Royce Field. There is nothing better than stepping onto the field on a gorgeous day to play a double-header against one of our NESCAC rivals.
Favorite Campus Dining Location: McEwen (I love the stir-fry)
Fondest Hamilton Memory To-Date: Getting my acceptance letter in the mail. I still vividly remember my father bringing the envelope down to my room and him watching as my expression went from one of apprehension to one of being relieved and complete enjoyment. I have only spent one year on the Hill, but I am sure there are plenty more fond Hamilton memories to come in the next three years. 
Favorite Quote: “Don’t count the days, make the days count.” — Muhammad Ali 
What was life like where you grew up?
I grew up in East Greenbush, N.Y. It is about two hours to the east so for me the snow shower in late April was not a big shock. As for my friends here from Alabama and California that’s a different story. I have a very large family who all live within a few miles of each other (specifically we all live on one of three streets in our town). Therefore, my family is very close and we spend a lot of time together. I have a bunch of close friends from back home that I would hang out with whenever I could. We loved to get a bunch of guys together and go play some pick-up basketball at the YMCA or go to the driving range and hit some golf balls then grab some food at a burger or sub place.   
What was high school like? 
I went to an all-male Catholic military high school. I was required to wear a uniform every day and was inspected every morning by officers who were upperclassmen. The school was definitely a challenge academically, but in the end it paid off in so many different aspects of my life. It not only helped me get into a college like Hamilton but prepared me to succeed here as well. My favorite activities in high school were attending and participating in athletic events, hanging with my friends and going fishing at my grandparent’s lake house.
Who inspired you growing up?
Both my parents have inspired me. My mother passed away from ovarian cancer when I was 10 and her fight for and attitude toward life had a lasting impact on me. I always strive for my best and never give up because that is the way she lived her life. My father too has inspired me by the way he lives his life day-to-day especially after my mother’s passing. On his own for the past nine years, he has taken care of my sister and me, and I am forever grateful for the way he did. He never missed one of my baseball games and every day would come home from work and make dinner for my sister and me. He has inspired me to succeed in every aspect of life because he has given me the chance and ability to do so. I believe I work extremely hard in school, and I am totally dedicated to my academics and athletics. That is the result of my mother and father.      
How did you discover Hamilton?
One of my friends suggested the College to my father at one of my high school baseball games. I looked the school up on the Internet and decided to contact the baseball coach (Tim Byrnes). My junior year I came in the fall for an interview and did an official visit over night. I fell in love with the College, and so I decided to apply ED1. I have not regretted that decision for one moment.
What were your first impressions of the College?
My first impression of the College when I came to visit was how beautiful the campus was. It was a beautiful day so the old stone buildings surrounded by gorgeous green lawns and trees seemed perfect. It was exactly what I pictured a college campus to look like. The professors, coaches and other faculty along with the students I was introduced to all seemed welcoming and friendly. The College seemed to be a very tight-knit community much like my high school, and I found that very attractive. I also got the impression that there was always something going on or to do and that there was a vast variety of activities to become involved in.
After finishing my first-year, my impression has not changed much and if it has, it’s for the better. The details of a college that matter, but are difficult to judge when visiting, such as student-professor relationships, have greatly increased my fondness for Hamilton. Every time I drive back up the Hill from a long vacation I get excited to be back on campus just how I was my first time visiting.    
What are your plans after Hamilton? 
Even though it is still a few years off, after Hamilton I hope to continue my studies and maybe attend law school. I would love to travel the world a little and visit different countries. I then hope to get a job that every morning I enjoy waking up and going to and leave at the end of the day feeling satisfied and thinking about tomorrow. Whatever, my post-Hamilton plans are three years from now I know Hamilton will have prepared me for every obstacle I may face.
As for where I want to live after school, that to me does not really matter. I love living in the Northeast with weather that is constantly changing and unpredictable. I do hope to live in New York City for a few years after I graduate. I have always loved the city and its excitement and feel it would be a wonderful place, filled with opportunity, to begin a life after Hamilton. 
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 for 2009-10.
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