Jordan Markley, '12

B.A. in English

How does the tuition cost of Grove City College compare to the other schools you looked at during your college selection?
At the time I was looking at colleges (circa 2007) the all-in cost of attending Grove City College was less than half the other schools I was considering

How is faith incorporated in the classroom?
The vast majority of my professors took pains to connect the material they were studying to a thoughtful consideration of Christian life. They also took time to discuss the ways in which their subject area intersected with a Christian worldview. Many sought to engage us as young Christians, rather than just students, challenging sacred cows of evangelical culture and modeling a scholarly way to engage with their subject matter.

What drew you to choose English as your major?
I originally intended to pursue another subject, but my desire to improve my writing led me to begin taking courses in English. The quality of the instruction and the detailed attention my papers got in the English courses far surpassed the feedback I received in my other classes. As a result, I chose to prioritize that for the rest of my time at Grove City College.

What is the relationship like between the students and the professors?
I always found my professors accessible and helpful. Despite heavy teaching loads, most kept plenty of office hours and responded quickly and thoroughly to questions. Several helped me with references and recommendation letters.

What is your favorite aspect of Grove City College?
There is something delightful, if old fashioned, about the culture and traditions on campus. I’m not going to say that Greek Week, Creeking students, rushing through chapel requirements, the long cold walk home after inter-vis, Sunday brunch, etc. are the most important things about the school, but they are the most memorable, because they form the structures and rhythms of life on campus. It’s those things that I miss.

Describe some of your experiences in campus activities.
Participating in club athletics gave me the opportunity to hone my skills as a coach, develop an understanding of fundraising practices (which helped me secure my current job), and gave me plenty of opportunities to lead.

Can you tell us about how your academic work and relationships with faculty challenged you while you were at Grove City College?
I think my education challenged me in more ways than I can sum up here, so I’ll hit some high points: 1) My academic work caused me to develop a work ethic I didn’t have before. I had coasted through high school, and at Grove City College I learned I was happier working hard than I was coasting. 2) My friends and instructors made me aware, quite regularly, of the depths of material I still had to learn, and I found I wanted to keep learning. 3) My friends in college forced me to recognize that I needed to consciously choose to invest in relationships if I wanted them to last.

How did your time at Grove City College prepared you for your vocation?
Grove City College didn’t prepare me specifically for work as a fundraiser, but I gained a work ethic and my professors beat enough nonsense out of my writing to allow me to make a living writing letters, proposals, and strategic plans. It may be a liberal arts cliché but I gained the ability to evaluate and craft arguments as well as a sense of what it takes to learn new skills.

Why did you study English?
I knew before going to college that what I wanted most out of my college education was to become a very strong writer (I think 18-year-old-me would have said “great writer” and had visions of a life of column writing and brunching). Once I arrived on campus, I learned that the place to hone that skill was, unsurprisingly, the Department of English. My time in the Department of English wasn’t sufficient to turn me into a good writer, but I learned how to work at my craft there and, for that, I’m very grateful.

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