My name is Timothy Luke Hutchison and I am a 5th year senior here at Shippensburg University. I am a dual major studying Marketing and Management Information Systems in the John L. Grove college of business. This year, along with being the recipient of the Jack A. and Mildred Prince Squires Scholarship, I have the privilege of being the Student President of Beta Gamma Sigma, the President of the STEPS Mentoring Program within the college of business, and a Research Assistant for the Department of Management, Marketing, and Entrepreneurship. Upon my graduation in the spring, I plan to pursue a career in marketing research.
I was asked here tonight to share with you a few words about my experience at Shippensburg University and its meaning within my life. A daunting task, absolutely. I promise I will not take all night.
In all honesty, while preparing for this, I found it difficult to describe my experience and its meaning accurately.
I struggled to translate my feelings into words. Obviously, I could simply tell you those words which best describe what I have felt over the past four years. Happiness. Joy. Gratitude. Struggle. Trepidation. But to me, these words don’t say much on their own. Truly, my experience at Shippensburg University has been defined by the opportunities which have been afforded me throughout my time here.
I chose to attend Shippensburg University after saying, for several years, that I would not attend Shippensburg University. Growing up in the Shippensburg area, Ship was always the school “up on the hill”. It was only when I began to pay attention that I saw the opportunities which that school on the hill presented. Ship presented a value for money I did not find in other schools. Ship allowed be to remain close to home, and close to my family. What really got me on board with Ship, sorry for that terrible pun, was when I received several scholarships. The Richard H. Hosfeld Memorial Scholarship and J. Stewart and Jane G. Askins Scholarship. These made Ship an easy decision and were the first of many opportunities.
Chief among these many opportunities has been the opportunity for growth. I am not the same person that stepped into “Historical Foundations of Global Cultures” four years ago. I am smarter than I was then. I am better informed than I was then. I have a greater appreciation for people who are different than me than I did then.
Last year, I had the opportunity to attend the Beta Gamma Sigma Global Leadership Summit in Chicago. Alongside ten students who were complete strangers and competing against 10 other groups, the team I was on won our case competition, coming in second against 40 groups in the overall competition. This experience gave me the opportunity to learn more about myself, create lasting friendships, have some fun, and learn a little about business. Simply put, over the last four years, through my experiences, I have grown. And true in all growth is the ubiquitous presence of mixed emotions.
I have felt happiness upon the completion of large group projects, as well as relief. I have had countless joyous interactions on this campus. I have been grateful when people who were not required to have gone out of their way to help me succeed. I have struggled with work late into the evening more times than I can count, and I have felt trepidation about what comes next.
Throughout all of this, the constant has been Shippensburg University. I would like to thank all of those who have made these experiences possible for me. My fellow students and I are thankful for each and every experience and opportunity which are only available because of donors such as yourselves. All of these experiences, opportunities, and feelings have been products of this place and of you. Had I not experienced these opportunities for growth, I would not be the person I am today. I can say, genuinely, I would be less.
And to that end, what greater meaning could an experience have? Because of Shippensburg University, I am more.
(Luke, Class of 2020, shared these remarks at the SU Foundation’s 2019 Presidents’ Recognition Dinner)