Celebrating the Class of 2017

The class of 2017 at this year’s senior banquet.

I am still awestruck that in what felt like the blink of an eye, my dear friends and I have gone from students to alumni. Four years ago, we piled into vans and headed to the Adirondacks, still strangers to one another. Who among us could have imagined then what would lie ahead? I don’t think any of us could have foreseen the ways this place would invite us to join in its dance; to adore what is good, true, and beautiful; to stretch our minds just shy of their breaking point and discover the precious weight of genuine learning; to open our eyes to a dazzling world and see that, as Gerard Manley Hopkins reminds us, “Christ plays in ten thousand places.” Nor could we have anticipated the ways we would see the face of Christ in one another and be drawn into a community that would ask us to love one another as Christ loved us.

Some of the Templeton class of 2017 on their freshman year Adirondacks camping trip in 2013.

And now, here we are, once again unable to imagine just what might lie ahead. Yet, this time, we are no longer strangers. On the contrary: I know quite well just how beautiful, intelligent, wise, passionate, and good-hearted my fellow students are. And I know that as we leave this place, each one of them is poised to build a good life, by the grace of God.

What follows is a brief snapshot of each graduate and his or her future plans. May we seek to do good work in whatever context we find ourselves; may we always grow in wisdom; may our lives be ever animated by deeply rooted love to guide and strengthen us on the journey.

Meganne Beach

Meganne is graduating with a dual major in Spanish and Communication Studies. For Meganne, learning Spanish has been a way to see the world from another’s perspective and learn about beautiful people and cultures around the world. She chose to major in Communication Studies in addition to Spanish because she believes that communication is fundamental to being human. In the future, Meganne hopes to travel, live abroad, go to graduate school, and keep reading as many books as she can.

Lisa Brown

Having always been interested in business, Lisa chose to study Accounting and Finance as well as Entrepreneurial Studies. She’s thankful for the excellent business professors at Eastern and for the opportunities she’s had to serve as a Resident Assistant, to study abroad in Denmark, and to be part of Habitat for Humanity. She is also incredibly appreciative of the friends she’s made at Eastern. In August, Lisa will begin working as an audit associate with KPMG. She hopes to eventually work in small business and perhaps start her own business.

Elizabeth Byrd

Elizabeth is a Sociology major with a minor in European History. One of the things she has appreciated most during her time at Eastern is the wonderful community. After graduation, she plans to work as a camp counselor for the summer and eventually become involved with ministry work.

Anastasia Carroll

Anastasia studied Writing and Spanish at Eastern. She loves the study of language because she believes that language has a powerful ability to connect us to others despite our many differences. She is thankful for professors at Eastern who have modeled good conversation and demonstrated what it means to disagree with one another and yet have deep friendships. After graduation, Anastasia will be working as Eastern’s Student Life Coordinator for the EQUIP program this summer. Later, she plans to pursue a position teaching Spanish in a private or charter school. She is also interested in doing graduate work in linguistics someday.

John Gallagher

John studied Mathematics at Eastern. Some of his favorite memories from his time as an undergraduate student include countless late night conversations, stargazing on the turf field, and going to concerts the Kimmel Center. In the future, John plans to enter a Catholic monastery as a postulant.

Madeleine Harris receiving her medal from Dr. Yonan at the senior banquet.

Madeleine Harris

Madeleine studied Philosophy for the sake of learning to love people better and believes that doing so has also helped her to see the world as deeply beautiful. She is thankful for the precious relationships she’s formed with both peers and faculty at Eastern. This summer, Madeleine plans to spend two months visiting a convent in England. Eventually, she hopes to pursue a PhD in Theology and is interested in working in the church in some capacity.

Brandi Henry

Brandi chose to major in Mathematics and minor in Astronomy at Eastern. Brandi has appreciated the opportunities she’s had to work with phenomenal people in the admissions department, study abroad at Oxford University, and connect with students in other Templeton cohorts by being a student staff member for a number of freshman camping trips. After graduation, Brandi will be pursuing a PhD in mathematics at Temple University. She hopes to be a professor someday and would love to do so at Eastern so that she can give back to this community.

Kelsey Johnson

Kelsey majored in English Literature out of an appreciation for the way written expression can impact people. She studied music in addition to literature and believes that both of these arts make the world more beautiful. She is thankful for the chance she has had to form deep friendships at Eastern. As far as the future goes, Kelsey has several interests, including teaching violin, traveling, and developing her photography skills. She also hopes to pursue a graduate degree in Old and Medieval English at Oxford or St. Andrew’s University.

Jordan Kolb

Jordan majored in English Literature and minored in Writing and European History. She believes there is wisdom to be found in studying stories—whether fictional or historical. She is thankful for the opportunity she has had to study with phenomenal professors and form friendships with wonderful peers at Eastern. In the future, she hopes to pursue a career in education.

Madelyn Lee

Due to her interest in law and politics, Maddy majored in Political Science and minored in American History and Communications. She is appreciative of the opportunities she has received at Eastern, especially the chance to work with the advancement office. After graduation, Maddy will be taking a gap year and then getting married in July 2018 before beginning law school in August 2018. In the future, she is interested in pursuing a career in constitutional law and perhaps running for political office.

Anne Mozel

Anne chose to study Psychology and Biology in hopes of pursuing a career in neuropsychology—a field which she appreciates for its emphasis on whole persons and its interdisciplinary approach. She is thankful for the faculty who have supported her during her time at Eastern, as well as the opportunity to study abroad in Rwanda. After graduation, Anne will continue her work as a research assistant at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and begin graduate work at Villanova University. Eventually, she hopes to be involved with injury research in conjunction with clinical practice.

Jessica Nielsen

Jessica majored in History because she loves the subject and believes it offers us a context for understanding many other fields of thought. She has minors in both Environmental Science and Biology and hopes to pursue a career that will allow her to be involved with rehabilitating and preserving the natural order. She is grateful for the important conversations, great books, challenging courses, and rich relationships that she has experienced here. Following graduation, she will be pursuing a Masters of Landscape Architecture at Auburn University.

Anne Nusbaum

Anne chose to major in Philosophy because she wanted to study what it means to be human and to be in relationship with God and others. During her time at Eastern, Anne particularly appreciated her relationships with fellow students and professors, as well as the opportunity to spend a semester abroad in New Zealand. As far as future plans go, Anne wishes to serve God, serve the earth, and serve the people on it.

Russell Risden

Russell is a Political Science major with a minor in European History. He is also part of the Air Force ROTC. During his time at Eastern, Russell has acted as President of the Political Science Honors Society, served as a deacon at the Baptist Church in the Valley, and raised funds for the restoration of a portrait of Mr. Charles Walton Sr. He is thankful for these opportunities as well as for his interactions with Templeton professors. In the future, Russell hopes to study Theology at Oxford University and serve as a Chaplain in the U.S. Air Force. He also looks forward to going fishing and sailing, having a family, and eventually owning a farm, all while glorifying God.

Ethan Rose

Ethan studied English Literature at Eastern, and credits Eastern with turning him into a lifelong learner. Since graduating in December, Ethan has been pursuing a job at a nonprofit. He eventually hopes to get a Masters in Divinity and is considering pursuing ordination in the Episcopal Church. Ethan is also interested in pursuing a PhD in Theology someday and perhaps starting a New Monastic community.

Becca Twigg

Mason Waldhauser giving his remarks at the senior banquet.

Becca majored in History with a concentration in Secondary Education. She believes that studying history makes us better people, and hopes to share this love in her future work teaching history. During her time at Eastern, Becca has been grateful for friends who made her laugh, challenged her, and always supported her.

Mason Waldhauser

Mason majored in Philosophy and minored in European History in hopes that studying these subjects would prepare him well for seminary. After graduation, Mason will be attending seminary at Nashotah House. In the future, he hopes to become a priest in the Anglican Church.


Jordan Kolb (’17) is a Templeton alumna who graduated with a B.A. in English Literature and a minor in European History. During her time at Eastern, she worked as an editor with Adorans and with the Waltonian. In the future, she hopes to pursue a career in education.

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