Senior Wil Hotz of Grand Island, Neb. traveled only 25 miles from home to attend Hastings College, but his experiences prove you don’t have to go far to go further.
A dean’s list student and all-conference tennis player, Hotz has studied abroad at the University of Leicester in England, taught at a summer tennis camp at Stanford University, and covered the Australian Open in Melbourne through an internet blog.
“Wil is an outstanding scholar-athlete who has made the most of his Hastings College education,” said Dr. Rich Lloyd, vice president for college initiatives and Hotz’s academic adviser. “He was an excellent student at Grand Island Senior High who had many options, but he decided the best school for him was right down the road.”
Hotz is the third in his family to attend Hastings College. “My brother (Isaac ‘02) and sister (Ashley ‘05) both graduated from here, and they had good experiences,” he said.
Hotz plans to graduate in May 2009 with a degree in business management and sports communication, a personalized major he helped design. The College’s Personalized Program provides opportunities for students to plan their own course of study, in keeping with the philosophy and purpose of a liberal arts college. The program is especially attractive to students who have varied interests they want to pursue but cannot do so within established majors.
“I had so many interests, it was hard to pick just one,” Hotz said.
Hotz also took advantage of the College’s study abroad program by spending a semester at the University of Leicester in England taking courses in management, decision making, and psychology. (In addition to the relationship with Leicester, Hastings College has exchange agreements in place with schools in countries such as Germany, Italy, Northern Ireland, Russia, Spain, and Thailand.)
Acquaintances Hotz made in England and in California (teaching at the Stanford tennis camp) helped launch his next adventure. During the 2009 January Term, he spent nearly three weeks at the Australian Open in Melbourne. He honed his writing skills and earned English course credit by setting up a blog and communicating back to campus.
“The Australian Open is something I have always wanted to see, and through a directed study, I earned college credit at the same time,” Hotz said.
Wherever the future takes him—25 miles down the road or across the globe—Hotz will continue to seize the opportunities that come his way.
“I haven’t nailed down post-graduate plans yet. Eventually, I want to go to graduate school. I’ve had good experiences wherever I’ve gone, and each experience has opened up new opportunities for me,” he said.