Grove City College has a reputation for fostering a very intentional and genuine community on campus that impacts students not only during their four years on campus, but throughout their lives. In fact, graduates can experience withdrawal-like symptoms from the enriched relationships they gained during their time on campus. The care and effort GCC students pour into their relationships is a rare trait compared to what other college students experience. The extra intention that goes into the relationships with peers, professors, and coaches carries on past graduation so much that many find themselves drawn back to GCC for visits or for the purpose of work.
“I am only a graduate and alumna of one year but having left the physical community of Grove City College has made me appreciate those friends I made there even more than before. A majority of those relationships hold more depth and genuineness than others outside of the small western PA school.” – Kendra Heckman
The solid foundation that the campus is built upon is the values of faithfulness, excellence, stewardship, independence, and community. The value of “Community” focuses on fostering lifelong community engagement through a dynamic campus experience marked by service, hospitality, and abiding respect for others. The active participation on campus is a living testimony of how the faculty and student body prize the vibrancy of the GCC community. Students that have passed through the GCC experience may not miss the academic rigor, but they readily admit to missing the relationships. Perhaps it is for that reason that so many faculty and staff at GCC have a large majority of their own ranks coming from prior GCC graduates. They come back hoping to find that hospitable and welcoming smile on their first day of work that greeted them on their freshman year, and hoping to pass that dynamic community on to the next generation of Grovers.
Academic departments from across campus are represented by prior graduates who enjoy working for their alma mater. These faculty and staff members find satisfaction pouring back into the lives of the students sitting in the same desks that they once occupied. After teaching at the University of Mississippi, Regents School of Oxford, Coram Deo Academy, and Hockaday Summer School, professor Joshua Mayo now teaches at his alma mater, Grove City College. Mayo teaches the entry-year composition class and the HUMA core literature course. Professor Mayo has a passion for writing and literature and views the two as “two branches of the same great climbing-tree of language-related fun.”
Another GCC alumna who has found her way back to campus is Amanda Sposato, Director of Career Services. After Sposato received her degree, she began working as an admissions counselor for Grove City College and stayed in that position for five years. While she was working in the Admissions Office, Sposato heard of an opening in the Career Services Office, applied for the position, and was selected. Now with 12 years under her belt, Sposato has stepped into the role of Director of CSO. “I loved the mission of the CSO (Career Services Office) to help students pursue their callings and found the role to be an ideal fit for me,” says Sposato.
Grove City College leaves a indelible impression on most of its graduates and even if they do not return to work on campus, it does not mean they value the community and relationships it created any less.