LILLIAN HUCKE ’24  |   Published October 06, 2021

Senior Profile: Mason Sanford

The pipes helped call him to Monmouth College.

MASON SANFORD: The Monmouth senior is pictured here, preparing to lead the New Student Walkout in... MASON SANFORD: The Monmouth senior is pictured here, preparing to lead the New Student Walkout in August.MONMOUTH, Ill. – A Dean’s List neuroscience major who plays in the Pipe Band and is a member of the lacrosse team, Mason Sanford ’22 of Peoria, Illinois, is having the quintessential Monmouth College experience.

That probably shouldn’t be a surprise, because Sanford had made Monmouth his college of choice for years. He hopes that future Sanfords also attend the College.

“I want my kids to be able to go here someday,” he said.

Because Sanford knew from a young age that he wanted to be a Scot, his parents encouraged him to take up the bagpipes, which are played at almost every major Monmouth event. Sanford started to learn the challenging woodwind instrument during his freshman year of high school. He said learning to play the iconic instrument that is synonymous with Monmouth has helped him develop a deeper relationship with his school.

“People are always asking me about piping, and they are very encouraging, so it’s cool to be a part of a tradition here at Monmouth,” said Sanford.

He has great memories from his time with the Pipe Band, especially traveling to Winter Storm, a pipes and drums event in Kansas City consisting of master classes, concerts and competitions. Sanford said he got goosebumps from listening to the professionals perform their pieces with traditional Celtic drummers.

Biology professor and Pipe Band director Tim Tibbetts is happy to have a musician so dedicated to his craft.

“He’s also a fun guy, and he helps keep things light and fun. He has a positive attitude, and that really helps in life, not just COVID life, but the rest of life as well.” Tim Tibbetts

“What I like about Mason is that he works hard,” said Tibbetts. “Bagpiping is a lifelong journey, and everyone that engages in it is somewhere along the path. The important thing is to keep at it, and Mason really demonstrates that. He’s also a fun guy, and he helps keep things light and fun. He has a positive attitude, and that really helps in life, not just COVID life, but the rest of life as well.”

The perfect fit

As Sanford approached the time to make his official college decision, Monmouth still stood out with everything he needed. He wanted a school with small class sizes, so he would not be intimidated to ask a question. He was also looking for the ability to form relationships with his professors. All the other aspects of the decision also fell into place – he was still close to home and the price was right.

Sanford said it’s the people that set the national liberal arts college apart from other schools.

“We are here because of the people,” he said. “You can’t find other people like you will find here. I guarantee the one thing I will never forget is the bonds and friendships I have created here at Monmouth.”

FIGHTING SCOT: In addition to being in the Pipe Band, Sanford suits up for the men's lacrosse... FIGHTING SCOT: In addition to being in the Pipe Band, Sanford suits up for the men's lacrosse team and notched his first goal last spring.Learning lacrosse

In addition to Sanford’s long list of activities, he is also a varsity athlete. Growing up, he played ice hockey. To stay active in athletics collegiately, he went out for the lacrosse team. Even though he has not played the sport long, he has created memories he will cherish forever.

“My favorite lacrosse memory was probably all of last year,” said Sanford. “I got my first goal, which was very exciting, and we made the conference championship.”

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