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My Manchester Story

Maddy Minehart

by Lauren Hughes | Jun 06, 2019

Maddy Minehart, senior history and religious studies major from Auburn, Ind., discusses how her experience at Manchester was more than she ever imagined. 

Why did you choose Manchester?”

“I chose Manchester because a lot of the faculty and staff at my high school were Manchester alumni and said great things about the school. They always spoke about their great experiences here, especially with their professors. Relationships are so important to me, and I wanted to go to a university where I’d have the opportunity to build close relationships with people from all walks of life. I also wanted to play college basketball, and I really respected Coach Dzurick and his program. Manchester allowed me to play basketball in a small college, located in a rural area, which was ideal for me.”

What made you choose to be a history and religious studies major?”

“When I visited Manchester as a high school senior, I was interested in marketing. I was going to be a College of Business student, which is so different from what I am now! Then I decided to become a history major. I love learning and writing, and our history curriculum gives us a lot of great opportunities to develop writing and research skills. My First Year Seminar was taught by a religion professor, Kate Eisenbise Crell, and our class was about cults. I was fascinated by the subject matter. I was also drawn to Kate, because she was so effervescent and excited about the material and her students. I grew up going to church, but [outside of that setting] I wasn’t surrounded by very religious people, and I have always been interested in studying how influential religion is. When I realized that the religion faculty were so awesome, it made sense to add another major that complemented history so well, since those two subjects are often tied together.” 

What was your experience like as a four-year student-athlete?” 

“It was really fun. Our school does a good job of supporting athletes, regardless of our size, and our coach constantly reminds us that our mental health and our academics are the most important things. Our team has been nationally ranked in Division III for GPA, and that was an accomplishment that many people were proud of us for! Being a four-year student-athlete is really difficult, but I’m glad that I did it, because I met so many cool people and traveled to many places such as Dallas, Los Angeles, Atlanta and many more. I remember on my Senior Day seeing how many of my professors and friends came to support me, and that was the most [memorable] feeling during my four years. My career did not turn out the way I had envisioned − it was hard when I tore my ACL− but I had garnered so many supporters in my time.”

What would you say to a student considering Manchester?” 

“Make sure you’re coming here for the right reasons. Many people think they’re just coming here to play a sport or get a degree, but it’s hard to only go here and participate in just one side of something. [Manchester] is a holistic experience. You should try to join different extracurricular activities to get the most out of your time here. You have to become familiar with faculty, staff and your peers. Don’t be scared of people and don’t think that they’re faking how they’re acting. When I first got here, I thought, “Oh my gosh, these people can’t really be this nice or genuine!” but they literally are. I was kind of taken aback at that because I didn’t think that people here could be so different from people I knew back home. People here are so invested in your success and care about you so much, and it is truly a magical place.”