Priority IV - Annual Giving
Courtney Witherspoon | Discovering new talent through co-curricular activities
Courtney Witherspoon ’08 came to Utica College to study journalism and play basketball, but three years later, the latter intention almost seems moot. Recurring asthma symptoms ended the college basketball dream for the former high school hardwood star. Had she pursued the dream at another institution, the disappointment may have shattered her college experience. At UC, it was simply on to other endeavors.
“From the first day here, I feel as though my life at Utica College has had so many different dimensions,” Courtney says. “So while basketball didn’t work out they way I thought it would, maybe for that reason, I’ve gotten involved in a lot of different things – things I never thought I’d be involved in.”
Courtney’s list of co-curricular activities is long and varied. She has been a member of the Black Student Union, West Indian Connection, and Angelic Voices of Unity Gospel Choir and a reporter for the Tangerine. She is an Orientation mentor and training coordinator. She has participated in Leadership Weekend. She has been involved in the governance of the College as president of the Student Senate and in the planning of the institution’s future as a subcommittee member of the College’s accreditation self-study team. And even while sidelined from competition, as team manager, Courtney has remained a vital part of the women’s basketball team.
While her journalism studies are the focal point of her college experience, such out-of-class experiences have provided a distinctive margin between an education that is excellent and one that is truly transformative.
“There are so many opportunities here – certainly in the classroom, but outside of it as well – for students to push themselves to achieving things they once thought were beyond their limits,”
Courtney says. “You honestly take yourself to a different level here, and it’s beautiful when you get there because you look back and say, ‘Wow, I didn’t think I could do that.’ And you want to push yourself even more.”
Utica College, unlike older, more established institutions, is not blessed with a large endowment and is heavily dependent on tuition income to sustain its academic programs and cover its basic operating costs. The Annual Fund plays a crucial role by providing funding for critical needs like financial aid and support services, while allowing talented students like Courtney the extraordinary experience of learning, discovery, and growth for which UC has become known.
Says Courtney, “I’ve had a great experience at UC. I’ve really been able to expand my mind.”