I never dreamt that I would be where I am today as the
COO of a payments company, but I genuinely believe that my liberal arts
education set me up for success by encouraging me to question the world
around me and showing me that I could make a difference.
My goal is to enrich, improve, and empower humanity, be
it through the technology I help build or the personal relationships I
make. My liberal arts education will continue to help me accomplish that
My college experience, from the first day, became one
of constant discovery about myself, the world we live in, and how one
can use one’s education to work for changes that improve the lives of
The support system of lifelong friendships that I
established at Linfield has pushed me to be more ambitious than I could
The ability to connect and communicate with people of diverse backgrounds is critical to succeeding in professional basketball. The professors, coaches, and staff at Simpson College helped mold these skills that I continue to use on a daily basis.
David M. Gallegos
Now that I am a state legislator, I’m able to use the
broad experiences that I learned at a liberal arts college to help in
decision-making that propels our state forward.
The interaction with professors that was possible for
me at a liberal arts college helped advance my
thinking and modeled for me a way of dealing with others in a
Cynthia “Cindy” E. Stinger
My liberal arts education instilled in me a confidence
that has served me well and helped me build my leadership
Larry D. Roper
The small classes, the expectation of intellectual
engagement, and the scholarly mentoring kindled within me an
appreciation for the liberal arts and an intellectual curiosity that I
had no idea I possessed.
Joseph P. Clayton
International businessmen and women must discuss topics
that impact the entire world, and being well-versed in art history,
foreign languages, and an appreciation for other cultures is critically
The residential community of students, faculty, and
even the highest level administrators were interested in me, on a
personal level, and that made an enormous difference.
S. Aaron Marks
Today, my liberal arts education has become critical to me as a small business owner...I wear many different
hats throughout the day, and I must pull from many different areas to
help run our family business.
The administrators and faculty at Marietta understood I
wasn’t attending college simply to pursue a career, but also to develop
my interests and talents. They worked to teach the whole person, not
just the journalist I would become.
The science and mathematics courses I took at Saint
Vincent College prepared me for graduate school, and many of my
non-science courses have helped me in my chosen career as a physicist as
Theressa J. Wright
My liberal arts education from Franklin College
paved the way for me to sustain and ultimately become a physician and
travel the world as a contributor to the global medical community.
A private, liberal arts college tucked away in the Blue
Ridge Mountains, Ferrum serves as an incubator for new ideas and offers
its students opportunities to be at the doorstep of an ever-changing,
The core fundamentals of finance and economics I
studied at Bethany in a comfortable, small class size environment are
ones I still use to this day when developing market views and trade
David C. Hilmers
Never before or since have I felt such autonomy to explore, to become a leader, to think independently, and importantly, to work as part of a team.
Because of patient and caring professors in a
small college environment, I was able eventually to excel in my studies,
to develop a love for learning, and to experience a new world of
A liberal arts education exposes us to a world that has
become increasingly global and teaches us how to interact with,
collaborate with, and appreciate individuals and societies from around
With the resources provided by this kind of learning, I
was enabled, maybe even compelled, to innovate beyond the methods and
practices which were, for the most part, current at the time.
It was a blessing to be in such a supportive
environment while exploring my options, and to know that the classes I
was taking would count toward my degree even though I hadn’t yet picked
My liberal arts education serves as the foundation for a job that alternates between the technical and the strategic.
The current football players talked a bit about the
team, but mostly about their courses and majors... Athletics was
important, but you would be there to get an education.
The liberal arts experience gives you the opportunity to learn, to fail, to succeed, to really find out who you are.
As a young alumna, I look back in awe and with great appreciation for what I have been able to do and accomplish
in such a short time. Peace Corps. Graduate school degree. Employment
in the career field of my choice. All are a result of my liberal arts
Stephen J. Forman
I am frequently asked how I came to choose oncology as a profession, and my answer is often that it is the most philosophical of the medical specialties, forcing me to confront questions that are most important in our life and in our relationships with each other.
I told [my advisor] of my dream to join the Foreign Service, and
he empowered that dream by designing a custom-made foreign affairs
degree, combining economics, history, political science, foreign
language, and psychology.
Job training...gives you the skills to be competent in your daily tasks and
responsibilities—to meet the basic expectations of your current
employer. An education, though, should be about tomorrow, when the jobs
of today are replaced by what we can't even imagine yet.
Thomas G. Keens
“Active learning” has
only recently come into the vocabulary of medical education. As a
liberal arts graduate, I participated in “active learning” from the
first day I stepped onto my college campus.
Primal de Lanerolle
My liberal arts education, rather than preparing me for a specific career, gave me the tools to be successful at virtually any career.
I initially thought I was going to college to study
science and mathematics. Instead, I ended up developing the much broader
combination of knowledge, skills, and perspective required for success
in today’s world.
My liberal arts education permitted me to pursue a
career in federal law enforcement with the FBI—a career choice I’ve
never, ever regretted. At Assumption, I was furnished with three key
skills that have proven vital to my success as an FBI agent.
I was surrounded by an eclectic mix of peers who pushed
me and exposed me to experience so many different cultures and
ideologies. It was a true coming-of-age college experience.
In my sophomore year, I suffered an injury and had to
rethink my major. The structure of Mills’ liberal arts program gave me
the opportunity to take classes outside of my field, and I discovered an
appreciation for economics.
When you're in an environment like a liberal arts school, the opportunity is to learn how to ask great questions, to seek curiosity, and ultimately help you learn. To be able to construct a great question—to help uncover something that is going to be a meaningful addition to your life—is unique to the way liberal arts schools are run.
Deborah Platt Majoras
My liberal arts education did not prepare me for one particular job or profession; it prepared me for any that I would choose once I truly found my passion.
I have interviewed and hired hundreds of new college graduates, and have concluded that those who are the best thinkers and problem solvers are the most well-rounded. Those who are best able to deal with the wide variety of demands of the entertainment industry undoubtedly have a background in liberal arts.
By being able to enroll in such a wide range of classes, I was exposed to an incredible amount of knowledge and topics, and it made me more curious about the world around me. This has helped me immensely in my job as a photojournalist.
From small classrooms that created an intimate learning
environment to the support and mentorship of inspired administrators,
caring staff, good teachers, and motivated faculty, Utica College
provided more than a degree—it provided me with knowledge, purpose, and a
sense of civic responsibility.
I think a liberal arts education is perfect because the liberal arts prepare you for all the different things that can come in life. [And] speaking, leadership, personal interaction, and teamwork skills are best developed in a liberal arts setting.
Michelle “Chelle” McIntyre-Brewer
Few people know exactly what they want to do with their lives as they set out to find an institution of higher learning. That is what makes a liberal arts education so appealing: Regardless of the major one achieves, a well-balanced and in-depth education occurs.
It is no surprise that many liberal arts graduates can be found disproportionately in leadership positions in politics, culture, and the economy. This is the case in Washington, DC, where I have established my personal and professional network.
What sets a liberal arts education apart from the standard college experience is that it’s not a fixed narrow track but one that lets you find your individual path. A path that touches on so many different things that your mind gets cross-pollinated in surprising and expansive ways.
Allison “Alli” Baugher
I am a product of a liberal arts education, and the greatest advice I can give my students is not to seek a college or university that merely focuses on career goals, but to seek knowledge and explore all of the “unturned rocks” so that they discover where their passions lie and what their career goals should be.
I would encourage all parents of high school students to really take a moment and explore all that a liberal arts education has to offer.
Richard P. Marrs
Even after almost 40 years in medicine, I still question our level of knowledge and look for answers to the mysteries of human function in our area of medicine. This quest for knowledge started with my liberal arts experience at Schreiner University and continues today.
Mary Elizabeth Ulliman
I use my liberal arts education every day. My managers are consistently impressed with my confidence, my ability to adapt, and my appreciation for different kinds of knowledge and viewpoints.
Though I didn’t know it at the time, my liberal arts education at Saint Mary’s College meticulously and intentionally laid the foundation for each step of my circuitous personal and professional life, from philanthropy to sales and communications, to health care.
Richard North Patterson
Even within the parameters of one’s career, in this ever-changing environment, the ability to think broadly and creatively—the essence of liberal arts—is fundamental to professional success.
Gregory L. Moore
I found my career at Ohio Wesleyan, and I am certain I would not be the top editor of a major U.S. newspaper had I not gone there.
My advice to high school students who are considering a liberal arts education is the same advice that I gave each of my three daughters at this stage: Don’t settle. Don’t think of college as vocational training for the rest of your life. Instead, take a risk and know that a broad course of study and a commitment to learning will serve you well.
Kara J. Trott
I find myself drawing upon my liberal arts experience where I first learned to think critically—and that alone has paid huge dividends throughout my professional career and in my interactions outside the workplace.
Fortunately, my liberal arts education at Lewis & Clark has equipped me with the flexibility, adaptability, and ability to “think on my feet” and find ways to come out ahead when Plan A is no longer an option and I need Plan B, or C, or D.
At the end of the day, our college experiences are what we make of them. I chose one of spontaneity, adventure, and discipline, and it informs my passion and dedication to my work every day. I am so grateful that I chose to get a liberal arts education.
The kind of education suited to a life of innovation is less about imparting facts…and more about the way you see the world.
The curiosity and versatility that I gained at Hollins are things that I use every day as a performing artist.
Mary Ellen Smith Glasgow
No one knows what the future will hold, but a liberal
arts foundation is wonderful preparation to respond to a broad spectrum
of societal needs and serve one’s profession and community irrespective
of one’s discipline.
As a student, I was completely focused on business and accounting, and I didn’t see the relevance of humanities-related courses. I realize now that those courses, as well as the service projects in which we participated, awakened me to the world beyond my own, and to my responsibility to make a difference there.
Bernadette Coutain Plair
Although a biology major, I also took courses in
philosophy, theology, ethics, music, and art history among others. I not
only enjoyed my learning experience but developed the ability to think
critically, make sound judgments, and awaken my creative imagination.
Timothy M. Savage
The value of the small liberal arts school became clear from the beginning of my higher education experience. I started at a very large state university. After a year and a half, I felt no closer to the goal of graduation. When I saw an opportunity to transfer, I jumped at the chance.
What employers are looking for are bright, energetic people who have the ability to adapt. And I don’t think anything prepares you and gives you the skills to do that better than a liberal arts education.
Angela S. Earley
Four years of undergraduate study at a small liberal arts school
provided the solid foundation on which to build my additional 11 years
of medical training and education.
Edward R. Collins
In my career in financial services, the research skills I
honed in my history courses and the in-depth understanding of behavior I
gained in my psychology course have been invaluable to me.
Dana R. Wright
liberal arts education allowed me to explore and see things from many
angles; it allowed me to be creative and stretch my limits.
Walter B. Jones, Jr.
In Congress and in my personal life, a liberal
arts curriculum has taught me to use independent judgment, to think
critically, and to decide issues in an ethical way.
Annis Ward Jackson
Although earning a degree was satisfying, benefits that I had not
foreseen were even more fulfilling: a heightened awareness of the world
outside family, friends, and community; a connection with the past
through the study of ancient literature and philosophy; and a sense of
continuity to the future.
my college education, I learned how to defend a controversial point of
view. It prepared me to land in a new city ready to meet new challenges
rather than collapse in fear of potential obstacles.
Much as our knowledge
continues to fuel the specialization of industries and careers, the
ability to adapt and pivot will define those who can retool their
generalized knowledge and skills.
Terra Teague Hess
Although your chosen field of study is important, thinking beyond
it can give you a more realistic and respected view of the world—all the
while making you a more well-rounded person.
Sara E. Wycoff
My varied skill set has prepared me with transferable skills for an
ever-changing economy. As a result, I’m confident that I won’t become
bored like some of my peers who find their taste for their work dulled
after years of the same.