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Gorton: Transfer to OU was great move for community, positive environment

On October 12, 2010

Attending a small school in small-town Kansas can have its share of perks - one-on-one interactions with professors and close relationships with peers.

With my parents being active alumni, my dad's employment at the university a few years ago, my brother's time on campus as a student, and the cross-country dinners my family holds at their house each year, Ottawa University students have been in my family and my life for as long as I can remember. In all of these memories of students I have yet to have a negative one but all of these memories have been from the outside looking in.

It was this closeness with

Ottawa University that made me step outside my comfort zone and attend Baker University. Because of my brother Eric's legacy of stealing campus gators, leaving live animals in campus buildings and placing football practice dummies on the roofs of building, I made my decision based on the idea that I would be living in my family's shadow. I also thought that being at Ottawa University may show me an aspect of the students that didn't fit into the view I had developed growing up.

After three years of attending Baker I returned to where my family began - Ottawa University.

As a transfer student I found myself with those first-day nerves. Who will I sit with in class? Where is my class? What if I'm not as smart here? What if I sit down and nobody sits next to me and I am stuck, sitting there by myself, like the smelly kid. Despite all my nerves I have made it through the first several weeks of class alive and now I get what my family has always loved about this school. At Ottawa University you don't just get a great education - you get a family. During my short time at Ottawa I have yet to be disappointed in the environment and people surrounding me. I feel as though I have joined a group of people that is respectful of a small community environment and accepting of newcomers. There is something to say about an educational institution that immediately extends help and guidance and friendship to each person who steps onto that campus.

As I drive through the streets of Ottawa and see all of those little golden signs saying "We Support OU" I am excited to be a part of that community. I am excited to attend a university that is so supported by the community that local merchants are willing to discount valuable services and products to show students just how much they support them and enjoy them in this community.

I guess more than anything this is a thank you. Thank you students and faculty and staff at Ottawa University for not letting my vision of this school be destroyed. Thank you for maintaining that positive image that the community supports and cares about. All of us should be proud to be a part of a school that is looked upon so highly by its surrounding community.

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