by Carly (Rech) Gilmore, class of 2016
Being the first of my family to attend Northwest Nazarene University, I am still baffled and impressed by the NNU community. Throughout the year, campus is bustling with compassionate individuals. Professors host study groups and department dinners in their homes. Coaches lead Bible studies for their athletes. Students arrange various university events to get more students involved in campus life and community service. NNU is a huge group that keeps adopting more people into its loving family. A family that is interested in and committed to instill habits of heart, soul, mind, and strength to enable each individual to become God’s creative and redemptive again in the world. This said, it wasn’t until my third Homecoming weekend here that I started to realize this campus community is just a fraction—the surface—of the entire NNU community.
While I was listening to one of these stories at the Alumni Awards Chapel, the speaker articulated what I was feeling, what NNU embraces. Young Alumnus of the Year Jill Willey-Wright said, “it isn’t what you have in life—it’s who you have.” NNU’s close-knit community is a testimony to Wright’s words. It is clear that the richness of NNU does not come solely from the education and extracurriculars; it is in the relationships. If all I received from my stay at NNU was the relationships, my experience at NNU would be well worth it. In the years to come, I look forward to many Homecomings, am thankful to belong to this rich community, and am excited to include it into my family tradition.