Office ofAlumni and Constituent Relations

Anna McCracken '14

“I love PLU!” This is a statement I find myself saying often, even though I never thought I would. Growing up in Spanaway, WA—only five minutes away from campus—in a family where Lutes run four generations deep, PLU was the last school on my list. I wanted to go far from home; the only problem was, I discovered that there really is no place like PLU. Now, as I enter the second half of my sophomore year, I often wonder how I could have ended up anyplace else.

When people ask me why I chose PLU, the first thing that comes to mind are the people. The genuine and caring people at PLU have made my experience what it is. My professors and peers have inspired me to step out of my comfort zone and discover things that I never would have before. When I came to PLU as a freshman, I knew that I would make some great friends, but I didn’t know that I would develop lifelong friendships like these—friends who have become my family away from home.

Although I would like to say that I know exactly what I want to do when I graduate, I really have no clue. In fact, not knowing is actually really exciting! I have learned that a PLU education doesn’t mean being ready to jump right into a career, but being ready to enter the world as an informed, compassionate, and purposeful human being—for that I know I’ll be ready. I am currently a Global Studies and Political Science major with a focus in International Violence and Peace and a minor in Anthropology—a little bit of everything. My dream job is to work in outdoor youth ministry and run a bible camp, but becoming a professional volunteer sounds pretty neat, too (although my parents might not go for that).

Aside from the complete surprise that I am attending PLU, my PLU experience in itself has included many surprises. After playing basketball in high school, I came to PLU thinking that I would play on an intramural team, but I never thought that I would be running around Foss Field in my bumblebee costume as a member of the PLU Reign Women’s Ultimate Frisbee team. I never thought that I would take a group of Lutes backpacking through the Hoh Rainforest over mid-semester break as an Outdoor Recreation Guide or spend Spring Break shoveling snow with fellow Lutes at Holden Village in Chelan, WA. PLU has provided me with so many opportunities, more than I ever imagined. From working as a Red Carpet Club host in the Admissions Office and as a Gonyea Fellow, to participating in the J-Term on the Hilltop course last January, it is hard to imagine being anyplace else.

As I look to what lies ahead in my PLU journey, I am most excited for the J-Term course that I will be taking in Northern Ireland, focusing on Community Peacebuilding and Dialogue. I look forward to many more adventures and I am excited for the continued opportunity to share my love for PLU with others. As a local student, I hope to see PLU continue to reach out to the greater-Tacoma community—something that I want to be a part of. After a year and a half as a Lute, I have more questions, doubts, and dreams than ever, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.