I’m so excited guys! This weekend one of my favorite artists is coming to campus. Joel Ansett, a GCC alum, is making his way back to the Grove to perform alongside some of his college chums in a special Lamplight Sessions concert.
Joel Ansett graduated from Grove City College in 2012 with a History degree. Throughout his time at GCC he began writing songs and performing at events around campus. He was met with enough success in that time that after graduating he decided to pursue a career as a songwriter and performing artist. His latest release, a full length album called The Nature of Us (November 23rd, 2015), debuted at #9 on the iTunes singer/songwriter charts and has been well received by music critics across the country, including The Huffington Post. Joel now lives in Denver, CO, working part time at St. Patrick Presbyterian as their Music & Arts Director, as well as continuing to pursue his budding career as a songwriter.
Why did you choose to come to Grove City College?
My parents loved the Christian liberal arts aspect of the school and I came to cherish that more and more over my four years there; but the main reason I wanted to come at the time was to play basketball. I had talked with the coaches before coming and they encouraged me to come and try out for the team. I ended up getting cut from the team a few months in, but I had already met so many great people that I wanted to stay.
What do you value most about your time at GCC?
The friendships were really what I valued most; and I don’t say that to de-value the education by any means. The education was excellent and a tremendous blessing but the quality of people at GCC was just such a joy. I built friendships with professors and lifelong friendships with several classmates and I wouldn’t trade that for the world. The culture at GCC is so community oriented that it’s hard not to find deep friendships there.
Do you have a favorite memory from your time here as a student?
Well it’s way too hard to try and narrow it down to one; I have so many great memories that make me smile on the spot; but if I had to pick one, IM sports were definitely one my favorite things. I really craved organized competition, and every semester there were so many opportunities to get involved with a new sport. It was also a great way to blow off some steam from whatever assignment or paper was stressing me out at the time.
What advice do you have for high school students as they work through the college search process?
Pray through it; and I’m not just saying that as a throw away statement of a good thing to do as a Christian. I believe God has a plan for your life and it’s really worth carving out an hour or more to be alone and talk to God about it. Grab a piece of paper and a pen. Go somewhere private. Be still. Listen in. Ask God some questions, and see where he leads your thoughts. I’d also say, trust your parents and enjoy the process. There’s definitely something to be said for knowing what you want to study and finding a school that really excels in that field; but my story was one of not being so sure what I wanted to study. So, less than looking at if the school was a good fit for my study interests, I was looking for a school that I thought could foster my growth as an overall person, as a soul really.
How did GCC give you an outlet to pursue what you’re passionate about?
I started to touch on it above, but I really do appreciate how complete of an education and experience I had at Grove City. I believe Christ is at the very center of everything. Biology, Engineering, History, Business, Arts…everything. I think to try and educate without that source in mind is eventually contradictory and built for short term success. I greatly appreciated that Grove City College gave me a holistic education. It helped show me more of who I am as a Son of God, and there is no stronger foundation than that, no matter what field of study you pursue.
Connect with Joel…
Spotify: Joel Ansett – The Nature of Us