Meet Princess


Princess Graham is well on her way to becoming a Manchester graduate. In the meantime, the junior from Merrillville, Ind., enjoys talking to people who have already graduated when she calls them for Phonathon.

“I love being able to talk to alumni and hear their college stories,” says Princess, whose gig as a Phonathon supervisor is one of her on-campus jobs. Alumni like to tell her about the pranks they pulled as students or how they met their mates. They give her life advice, too. “I feel it makes me a better human being,” says Princess, “because they have so much knowledge and wisdom and understanding.”

Princess plans to join the ranks of Manchester alumni in May 2021 when she graduates with a degree in social work. Her next step will be a Master of Social Work degree with the goal of becoming a therapist.

Princess already has a lot of real-world experience. She has worked at a social service agency back home since she was 16 and loves working with the elderly and young children. “I found out that mentoring is my thing,” says Princess, who is implementing a mentoring program for youth at the church where her mom is assistant pastor. 

For now, she is very busy on the North Manchester campus, where she is president of Student Senate, vice president of Manchester Activities Council, a Student Orientation Leader and an ambassador for the Office of Admissions, in addition to her Phonathon work.

Asking for gifts to help Manchester students is easy for Princess, because she’s passionate about the campus community that pulled her in from the start. “After I came to visit, I was sold on Manchester – 100 percent,” she said. “I feel like this was the best decision I could possibly have made.”

She found out early just how right it was. Two relatives to whom she was close died during Princess’ first year. It was hard for her to focus and, she concedes, “I was ready to quit. But people reached out to me and said, ‘Hey, what’s going on? I haven’t seen you on campus.” 

Professor Barb Burdge “wanted to help me as much as possible,” says Princess. “She said, ‘We can find you some support.’”

It was a tough time that Princess hopes other students don’t go through. “But if it does,” she says, the Manchester community will be there. “This campus really cares. You’re not a number. You’re a name.” At Manchester, adds Princess, “They actually care about you and want you to graduate.”

When Princess graduates, she will answer when Phonathon calls and share Manchester stories of her own.

By Melinda Lantz ’81