James and Sybil Stockdale Fellow Mackenzie Fletcher ’20, right, addresses prospective students during the Stockdale Fellows & Scholarship Competition. Looking on is Assistant Director of Leadership Development Jacob McLean ’15, left, and Stockdale Fellow Alexis Brauer ’20.
More than 130 of the best and brightest high school seniors got a chance Saturday to see why Monmouth College is a place that helps students free the possible.
A total of 132 high school students took part in the College’s Stockdale Fellows & Scholarship Competition. The students interviewed for Monmouth’s top scholarships, including the prestigious James and Sybil Stockdale Fellows Program.
But as Vice President of Enrollment Management and Communications Trent Gilbert told the guests in Dahl Chapel and Auditorium, the day was also a great opportunity to learn about the “liberating arts” at the College.
“We like to think of the liberal arts as the ‘liberating arts,’” Gilbert told more than 330 guests, which included the high school seniors and their family members. “As a community, we talk daily about these liberating arts. We live each day to help our students realize there is power in every possibility. The experience that our students have is the core component of this liberating arts education.”
And at the core of the Monmouth experience is the College’s outstanding faculty, Dean of the Faculty David Timmerman told the guests. Combined with the College’s investment in new academic buildings and programs, Timmerman said the faculty have produced “lots of exciting experiences that create a more challenging and enriching experience for our students.”
Timmerman listed numerous undergraduate research projects and off-campus study opportunities operated by faculty, all of which enhance the college experience for Monmouth students.
Those programs are what one Monmouth student said helps the College stand out. Emma Vanderpool ’17 of Frankfort, Ill., told the guests how the College’s faculty and staff have enabled her to have “experiences that I did not associate with a small liberal arts college such as Monmouth” when she was a high school senior.
“Everyone cares about you as an individual,” said Vanderpool, who is majoring in Latin, Classics and history and minoring in philosophy. “There will be plenty of people along the way who will help you imagine a future that is far greater, far more magnificent than anything you can imagine tonight. But more importantly, they’ll make sure you get there, or wherever you need to be.”
In addition to helping students stretch their intellectual horizons, Gilbert said that Monmouth is also a place that helps young people prepare for their “last job.”
“We, at our core, are preparing you for your last job,” he said. “Our faculty aren’t just going to sit down with you and ask you what you want to major in, they are going to ask you what impact you want to have in the world. And then figure out a curriculum that will give you the kind of skills to have that impact. … The world needs free thinkers who see every side of a problem, and we want a student that is going to do that.”