Office of Alumni Engagement

Brian Churchill

I graduated in

1980

I studied

Business Administration

I currently live in

Jackson, MI

I am now

Senior Technical Analyst

My Alma education

No question that going to a small college helped to ingrain a closeness that is not typically found at a larger college. You pretty much knew everybody. We would have an all-campus party and you would basically know everyone at the party. At a large school, it’s too easy to just go to class and do your own thing without really interacting with others. At a large school, you may have one extracurricular activity, maybe. At Alma you could easily be in a sport and in a frat/sorority and Marching band, etc… These activities and groups greatly expanded your core group of friends. Especially, the Greek Groups you would join, instantly you expanded your group of people you knew by about 150, from your frat/ sorority and your brother or sister group.

 

Most students at Alma are given many opportunities for leadership roles in the groups / organizations for which they belong. These leadership learnings in college help to make great leaders in society. That’s why you see many Alma Alum as leaders in their work environments, politics, communities, volunteer organizations and churches. It’s hard to hide in the masses at Alma College, which is a good thing, its how we grow and a central theme for a great college experience.

 

My favorite place(s) on campus included

We didn’t think much of it at the time, but being encouraged to live on-campus and all eating in the same cafeterias had a direct impact on closeness. Those that I know at larger schools would live in a dorm their Freshman Year and then move into an apartment for their other years with those that they met that first year. That really limits the sphere of your friends. At Alma we all lived in close proximity for 4 years, this encouraged interaction with a wide group of people. If you lived in the dorm there would be a new group of friends arriving every year, same with a Greek House, you would be thrown into a new group of folks each semester. If you happened to go to lunch or dinner at a different time than normal and weren’t with your usual group, you could easily find a table of fun and nice people.

My most vivid/best memory of my time at Alma is

Video games weren’t invented yet and Alma had only a couple television stations, so those weren’t distractions. There were no cell-phones and no Facebook and no texting and no emailing and hardly any real interactions with the outside world. You were cut off from your high school friends, which led to a high rate of relationship mortalities for those with a significant other from high school. The Prom Photos were usually history by the 2nd term as a freshmen. Except for an occasional trip to Mt Pleasant we were all stranded on this island, called Alma College. It was like being stranded on a deserted island with 1,200 nice and smart and fun people.

 

We all have our best friends, but also have a large number of folks where we share memories and fun times. This is why when you go to an Alma event; there is easy “mingling” between the groups.