Many alumni would line up to attest to the transformational impact of their Austin College experience. New ideas, new involvements, and new passions kindled during their education set them on a path of success and engagement. Earlier this fall, Ambassador Ron Kirk ’76, U.S. Trade Representative since 2009, said that his experiences on campus and the “dedicated faculty passionate about teaching” were key in his own development.
When people outside the Austin College community recognize the power of that transformation,more students are drawn to the experience. In 1996, former NewYork Times education editor Loren Pope released Colleges That Change Lives, including Austin College among the 40 schools profiled. That book, designed to help high school students find colleges where they could develop a lifelong love of learning and build a foundation for a successful and fulfilling life beyond college, helped direct thousands of students. Revised editions in 2000 and 2006 also included Austin College.
After Pope died in 2008, his family hired an education writer to compile an updated edition—based upon all new visits and interviews. Though writer Hilary Masell Oswald was to include 40 schools, the mandate was that the 40 schools should not be exactly the same list selected by Pope.
“We were very pleased that Austin College is again included among these 40 exemplary schools,” said Austin College President Marjorie Hass. “We work very hard to provide an education with challenging academics supported by expert faculty members whose first priority is their students. The residential community of our campus emphasizes an engagement beyond the classroom, providing opportunities for leadership, collaboration, faculty-directed research, and personal growth.Austin College is a place for students to see themselves and the world with
new perspectives—indeed, changing lives and creating possibilities.”
“I thought I’d come here, plow through the premed program, and go to med school and become a dermatologist. It was such a superficial plan,” says a senior biochemistry major. “Now I want to work for Doctors Without Borders.
Austin College shows you that we all have humanitarians in us. I had these things in me but they were brought out by this campus.” – a quote from Colleges That Change Lives, 2013 edition