Sat. Apr 20th, 2024

I cannot even begin to describe the pure joy I feel that I am graduating nor can I describe the realization that this is all really over. Everything I do, I pour my heart and soul into it – and West Chester University was no different.

In Philadelphia where I am from, students can apply to specialized high schools. I thought I wanted to go to the Performing Arts high school to be a singer. I was rejected and ended up at my second-choice high school. Once I graduated, I realized that the high school I attended was perfect for me, and I worked hard at making it a better place after I was gone.

WCU was my first choice up until my senior year of high school, when I discovered journalism was what I wanted to do. Temple University was my plan, and when I was not accepted and got my letter for WCU, I automatically knew this was it. Destiny was telling me something again.

I immediately researched all the student media on campus. I was so excited to e-mail the students who ran WCU Weekly and explore the radio station, WCUR and to receive a copy of The Quad and read it a million times before my first day of college.

I was admitted to WCU through the Academic Development Program (ADP; shout out to the 2015 class!) and met most of my current best friends through it. This program is for students who may not have had the grades or standardized test scores for regular admission, but had the potential to do well. Many people hate admitting that they were admitted through ADP, but ADP was one of the best summers of my life. The biggest bonus of all was that I knew the campus already before the actual first day of classes in August.

My first year I joined the Residence Hall Association (RHA) as the president of Killinger Hall’s RHA. I met many people during my two and a half years in the organization. This was a great opportunity to be a leader on campus very early.

I also became a staff writer for The Quad at this time. Nothing felt better than when I saw my byline in print for the first time. I moved through the ranks in The Quad, as I became News Editor my sophomore year. I later was elected Multimedia Editor, a position I have held up until now. Additionally, I was involved in WCU Weekly very early as a reporter.

During the second half of my college experience, I moved more towards my passion for broadcasting. I was chosen to be a Junior Reporter for FOX29 in Philadelphia and I obtained an internship at NBC10 in Philadelphia not long after.

Something I am most proud of is bringing a chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists to West Chester. I am excited that student journalists of color can have a place to feel included and important, and I hope I leave behind a legacy of students eager to change the face of student media here.

I have done a lot. WCU has given me so many opportunities to learn, grow, find myself, make mistakes and be an example for many on campus. The experiences I have had here truly cannot be put into words no matter how hard I try. From hosting my own radio show to being an orientation leader and studying abroad in the Cayman Islands – this school made me who I am. Every experience on campus and the opportunities I had to represent this school off campus have impacted my life. I am a better person having attended West Chester University.

I want to thank my sisters in the Abbé Society for spreading their friendship, leadership and character across this community, the Department of Communication and Media including Dr. Phillip Thompsen, former advisor to The Quad and student media connoisseur for his wisdom and for always cheering me on, Dr. Anita Foeman for her empathetic love and care for all her students, as well as Dr. Kanan Sawyer, Dr. Bessie Lawton and Dr. Meghan Mahoney. To Yanira Rodriguez and Ben Kuebrich, both from the English/Journalism department – thank you both for always being there for me. Lastly, thank you to Tamera, Ariel, Jazzmine, and Stephania: my very best friends. I could not have done it without you. I have too many thank yous to add, so I will stop here.

It is extremely hard to leave a place you love, but I am forever grateful to have a place so hard to say goodbye to. Thank you, WCU.

Sunny Morgan is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in journalism.

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