For as long as she can remember, Karen (Pugh) Kline, ’83 was immersed in all things Albion. As a child, she would stumble upon her father’s Albion sweatshirt that was neatly folded in his dresser. And like all little girls that love to play with their mother’s treasures, Karen remembers the Kappa Delta pin that sparkled in her mother’s jewelry box. She grew up in a family where stories of formal dances and band concerts were shared around the dinner table, and her son now makes up the third generation to march with the British Eighth. It’s no wonder that Karen describes Albion College as a part of the fabric of her family.
Karen’s ties to Albion don’t just end with memories, or of watching her son march in the band at football games. Just as Albion is an important part of her life, she too is an important part of Albion. Karen serves on the Parent Leadership Council and is highly involved as an Admission Ambassador. “My involvement with Albion as an alumna is not dissimilar to being a good hostess in my home,” Karen said. “I want others to be able to share the Albion College experience, feel welcome in the community and of course, get a great education and launch into the world!”
There are many ways to be involved as an Admission Ambassador. Some of Karen’s favorite aspects are sharing her personal experiences with prospective students and their families, in addition to participating in recruitment events. These events can range from attending a college fair in her hometown, or speaking to guests at an Admission Open House hosted at a local restaurant or in someone’s home. By welcoming each person with a smile and enthusiasm, Karen said she hopes to help them realize that, “With our small campus, each student not only counts, but is counted as important and special.”
Karen is also looking forward to participating in the new Referral Program, which allows a student to receive $1,000 scholarship for four years in the alumnus or alumna’s name if a referral is made and the student attends Albion. “The Referral Program allows the Admission Staff to introduce Albion College to those students that I know would be a perfect fit,” Karen said. “This is a great way for me to share Albion College with some wonderful high school students in a way that is natural and comfortable.”
Describing herself as one that bleeds purple and gold, Karen uses her strengths to give back to Albion in tangible ways as an Ambassador. She changes lives by helping students see the value of the Albion Advantage and by comforting parents with the reassurance that Albion will take good care of them. “For parents who have children already on campus, I generally just give them a hug. After all, we are family.”
For more information on how you can get involved as an Admission Ambassador, visit the Admission Ambassador page or call the Office of Admission at 800/858-6770.
Profile: Robinson Regen
When flying from Nashville, Tennessee to Detroit for their son’s first visit to Albion College, Robinson Regen and her family thought that they would make a trip to the Midwest and never come back. What they didn’t know was how much they would fall in love with the campus and the impressive Held Equestrian Center, not to mention the “adorable black squirrels” that run across the lawn.
They had one requirement for their son, Jackson, when it came to furthering his education, and that was that the college he selected had to be based on the liberal arts. He chose to come to Albion, and Robinson has been making referrals ever since.
Robinson knows firsthand how important a word-of-mouth referral to Albion College can be. It all started in the summer of 2008, when Jesha Marcy-Quay, ’11, came to Nashville to be a student worker mentoring under their horse trainer.
“Jesha is an impressive young lady who became one of Jackson’s ‘adopted big sisters.’ She is the person responsible for putting Albion College on Jackson’s radar,” Robinson said.
Jackson knew that he wanted to go somewhere different from all of his friends, and there had to be an equestrian facility nearby so that his horse could make the journey into adulthood with him.
Robinson said she’s not only impressed by the fact that the Albion Hunt Seat team is competing against strong Division I schools, but that, “from a parent’s point of view, the best part of the program is that it’s open to the entire student body, from first-time riders to those that have ridden for years.”
Combining her love for Albion College and her passion for horses, for the past two years Robinson has personally called all of the out-of-state prospective students who have expressed an interest in the equestrian program. Seeing the new referral program as a game-changer, she references the $1,000 referral-program scholarship in order to shift the entire dynamic of a conversation by breaking down the stereotype that liberal arts colleges are too expensive. “The referral program is like a magic ice-breaker for parents who are unsure of how to help guide their students,” Robinson said. “It makes it easier to share the intrinsic value of a liberal arts education.”
Not everyone can donate $1,000 for a scholarship, but the beauty of the referral program is that you simply have to make the referral for the student to receive a scholarship in your name. Robinson personally challenges alumni and parents to refer at least one prospective student within the next year.
As for herself, she will continue to serve on the Parent Leadership Council and make as many referrals as she can in an effort to have a positive impact on the lives of the upcoming generation of scholars.
“In today’s society, critical thinking, logic, and understanding the interconnectivity of the world around us is vital,” she said. “A liberal arts education will do this, but you have to take it one step further and go to a school that truly cares about its students and values its alumni. Albion continues to prove that it really does. The education the college has to offer is as unique as you are.”
I applied and auditioned for several different schools, including some very large ones, but when I visited these bigger schools I felt so insignificant. Even from just campus visits I felt like I did not matter and would never be heard. I knew that I needed something more personal where I could make an impact and contribute.
When I visited Albion College, I immediately felt the emphasis on the individual students. Each one mattered. I knew that I would matter. Everyone was really friendly and made me feel so welcome. It was such a wonderful experience I had not received anywhere else that my mind was made up. This was the school for me.
So far, how is Albion different from your previous school?
Albion is very different from my last school. One of the things that immediately struck me upon arriving was how everyone here really wants to be here and wants to learn. Here the teachers hold high expectations that really motivate us students to do our best and truly invest ourselves in learning.
Also, at Albion I have noticed how the college is connected as a community. Because of the small classes, students get to know their classmates and teachers well. Chances are, while walking through the quad, you will see many friendly faces you can greet as friends. Albion is a college that really fosters relationships and values each and every student.
What are you studying? What are you involved in?
I am an Elementary English Language Arts major with a minor in Spanish. Initially I came in as a music major, but after taking an education class, I realized that my new dream was to be an elementary school teacher. The education program here at Albion is phenomenal and I am enjoying every second of it! One of my favorite parts about the program is that for every education class, we are placed in a public school classroom where we get field experience and get to interact with students and teachers around the community.
Even though I switched from my music major, I am still very involved in music on campus. I am also very involved with Christian life on campus and participate in Chapel and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Through these groups I have met incredible people and made lasting friendships that have truly changed me and helped me grow.
What are you plans after graduating from Albion?
After graduating from Albion I plan to continue my education and get a masters degree. Perhaps I will teach for a few years before doing that, or do some traveling. I want to see more of the world. My classes here at Albion have really inspired a thirst in me to learn more than just what can be taught in a classroom. They have opened my eyes to the incredible wealth of knowledge and opportunities that are out there and made me eager to pursue them.
What was the transfer process like for you?
Transferring schools is a daunting process and I did not know where to start. Thanks to the wonderful help and guidance from the Admission Office it turned out to be a much smoother transition than I had anticipated. She made everything very clear and easy for me to do and before I knew it, I was a Brit. It did not stop there though. Even once I got here I was surrounded by a plethora of resources and helping hands. People were so eager and willing to help me with everything that the fear that I had felt going into the process completely vanished and I transitioned to my new life with confidence.
What's been the most pleasantly surprising thing you've seen at Albion?
The most pleasantly surprising thing that I have experienced at Albion is how at home I feel here. I feel like this is where I belong. It surprised me because, as a transfer student, I was coming in not knowing a single other person and was rather worried about finding that feeling of inclusion and acceptance. It has been incredible, though. I have never felt so much a part of something and that is very empowering and encouraging.