In the fall of 2013, Mackenzie Standeford was a freshman at a large state school studying pharmacology. One day she looked around her intro to pharmacology class and thought, “This isn’t me.”
Before coming to college, Mackenzie dreamed of being a nurse. She visited Anderson University’s School of Nursing and Kinesiology as a high school student and felt AU would be a great fit for her. But a change in her family situation led her to a state school instead.
After that difficult first semester of college, Standeford returned home to Indianapolis and attended a local commuter college. “I actually showed up 20 minutes late for my first class because I couldn’t find a parking spot,” she remembers. “I didn’t know what to do about parking. It was a huge campus.”
Being a commuter on such a large campus meant she missed out on the fellowship with other students that had attracted her to AU as a high school student. She decided to visit the AU campus one more time with her mother.
“We were actually walking out of Mocha Joe’s,” says Standeford, “and my mother says, ‘This feels like you.’”
Standeford’s mother was right. In the fall of 2014, Standeford began her first year at Anderson University as a nursing student. She is enjoying the opportunities afforded by a small Christian liberal arts college. She has added a Spanish major in hopes of working as a bilingual nurse after graduation. “I have a lot more clarity about where I need to go and who I need to be,” says Standeford.
Another bonus to transferring to AU: “I am attending school for less than I did at the big state school, which surprises people when I tell them,” says Standeford. “At a big state school, unless you are the cream of the crop or a legacy student, they don’t pay much attention to you and your financial needs.”
Anderson University was able to address Standeford’s financial needs because of donors who graciously give to the university through various scholarships and grants applied to student financial aid packages. One of the many ways that Standeford is now involved on campus is participating in Visit Days hosted by the Office of Admissions. She tells the potential students and their parents, “You’re not going to believe how generous these people are. They believe in what AU has to offer. They believe this place is special.”
Standeford knows there are many people who give to AU because someone helped them when they were students themselves. “I fully intend to pass it on someday when I’m a nurse. Just pass the blessing forward.”
Hometown: Indianapolis, Ind.
Major: Nursing and Spanish
Scholarship: Eleanor and Marguerite Hardacre Endowed Scholarship Fund