Casey McBride received her diploma, packed her stuff, and moved away from Transylvania. But she isn’t gone for good.
No big shock there.
In fact, the psychology major joined the Young Alumni Council even before she was an alum, and after a stint with Teach for America she hopes to pursue a career in student affairs, possibly at her alma mater.
“I won’t be able to stay away, that’s for sure,” McBride said just before graduation. “Leaving Transylvania is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Just thinking about it makes me very emotional.”
Her enthusiasm for university life, of course, didn’t grow out of four years lazing about her dorm watching the Cartoon Network. If there was a big, student-led happening on campus, it was a good bet McBride had a hand in it.
As president of the Student Activities Board, she organized events including the Crimson Affair dance and the wildly popular Ben Sollee concert. By giving McBride these leadership opportunities, Transylvania helped her discover her life’s passion—planning and involvement.
McBride didn’t show up on campus ready to take charge. “When I first came to Transylvania, I was very homesick,” she said. People told her she’d be happier if she’d become more engaged. At first she thought that would be too stressful, but then she figured she had nothing to lose. “I found out being involved is probably the most important thing you could ever do at a school.” She felt more at home—like she had more of a purpose—and learned valuable skills such as time-management and interacting with diverse groups of people, from students to faculty and staff.
This engagement ties into the school’s liberal arts focus. “That’s what coming to Transylvania is about. It’s about becoming a better person, not just a better student. There’s no question of feeling excluded on Transy’s campus.”
McBride also was secretary of her sorority, Chi Omega, and a manager of the alumni phone-a-thon that raises money for the university.
Her next stop is St. Louis, where she’ll join Teach for America’s mission of educating low-income students. “I’m very passionate about education,” she said. “I’ve also always really loved kids.”
The program accepts only a small percentage of college students who apply. Transylvania’s faculty and staff—including the Career Development Center—helped her with recommendations and her resume.
“That’ll be a hard job, but I think it’ll be nice.”
It’s a good bet she won’t be a stranger to the Transylvania community. “I hope to be involved for a very long time,” she said.