Why I Chose Rollins

March 21, 2022

By Audrey St. Clair ’03

From close-knit relationships with mentors to our emphasis on hands-on learning, discover why seven incoming first-year students chose Rollins.

From our personalized learning environment to endless opportunities for real-world experience, there are dozens of reasons to pick Rollins. Lauren Burgess ’26 chose Rollins for the close-knit relationships with both fellow classmates and professors. Mark Goersch ’26 decided to become a Tar because of the 3/2 Accelerated Management Program and access to prestigious internships. Milan Melvin ’26 picked Rollins for the opportunity to conduct research with a professor and study marine biology in a variety of ecosystems. Learn more about why Lauren, Mark, Milan, and more incoming Class of 2026 students chose Rollins.

Milan Melvin ’26Milan Melvin ’26

Milan Melvin ’26

Hometown: Freeport, Grand Bahama, The Bahamas

Why Rollins? “What initially drew me to Rollins was the fact that it was so close to home, but after doing more research, I found it was so much more. I know the personalized, hands-on learning environment is right for me and that the small classes will allow me to have the close relationships I want with my professors.”

What about your #RollinsLife are you most looking forward to? “I’m excited to get my PADI certification and join the scuba club. This was an opportunity I found out about on my campus tour. As a marine biology major, a scuba certification and diving experience are essential for future jobs. I knew I’d have a huge advantage in my career by going to Rollins, which shows how much the school values its students not only while they’re in college but also after they graduate.”

What’s on your Rollins bucket list? “I can’t wait to study marine biology and political science, and I’m very excited to meet new people and create friendships and bonds. I also want to participate in a student-faculty research project.”

I knew Rollins was right for me when … “I visited campus and saw how organized and beautiful everything was. The staff was amazing and answered all the questions we had. It’s such a welcoming environment, and it made me feel comfortable and safe.”

Lauren Burgess ’26Lauren Burgess ’26

Lauren Burgess ’26

Hometown: Allen, Texas

Why Rollins? “Rollins really resonated with me because I knew I wanted to go to a liberal arts school where I could make connections with my professors and develop mentor relationships with them. At bigger state schools, students are oftentimes considered just another number, but from talking to students at Rollins and meeting professors, I could tell there was an actual community. I also wanted to go to a school where I could be involved in theater without having to major in it or pursue a BFA.”

What about your #RollinsLife are you most looking forward to? “I’m a huge Disney and Harry Potter fan, so with Rollins being so close to both Disney and Universal, I’m hoping to make friends with the same interests as me and maybe even form a club. I also can’t wait to attend my first class and experience Fox Day for the first time since it’s such a beloved tradition.”

What’s on your Rollins bucket list? “I want to study abroad at least once, participate in an internship, act on stage in a show, and definitely make new friends.”

I knew Rollins was right for me when … “I stepped on campus for the first time. Before I visited Rollins, I was looking at a few different colleges that were all very similar since they were all liberal arts schools with good professors, small classes, and opportunities such as study abroad and internships. However, my campus tour changed everything, and that’s when I knew that Rollins stood out from the rest and was my top choice.”

Joseph Contin ’26Joseph Contin ’26

Joseph Conti ’26

Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Why Rollins? “When I walked onto campus for the first time, I felt at home. The warmth and hospitality coming from the architecture, the tree canopies, and the people were so nice and inviting. That feeling is super important to me because I wanted to be somewhere where I felt welcome, and I found that in Rollins.”

What about your #RollinsLife are you most looking forward to? “I’m looking forward to meeting my roommates, getting into my first classes, and making as many friends as possible. I’m also looking forward to getting involved in the community and growing as an individual.”

What’s on your Rollins bucket list? “My No. 1 goal is to start playing as many concerts as possible, making musical meteorites to forever enjoy. I’m looking forward to living the prime of my life at Rollins.”

I knew Rollins was right for me when … “I first toured the school—the beautiful campus and all the smiling faces made me sure this was my place.”

Yanyce Long ’26Yanyce Long ’26

Yanyce Long ’26

Hometown: Minneola, Florida

Why Rollins? “I chose Rollins because it truly fits my personality—from the architecture to the kind people to the amazing extracurriculars. I first saw the campus at my uncle’s graduation, and I was in awe. Before I even knew what Rollins was about and what it had to offer, I knew I would be back again. So not only did I come for an official campus tour eight years later, but now I’m going to spend the next four years of my life here.”

What about your #RollinsLife are you most looking forward to? “I’m definitely looking forward to my very first class, the legendary Fox Day, joining a club, and making lifelong friendships with classmates and my future mentors. I truly believe all these amazing things will help shape my life into something far greater than I can imagine.”

What’s on your Rollins bucket list? “I want to graduate with my bachelor’s and master’s in business with a 4.0 GPA, study abroad for at least two semesters, take a trip with my best friends, graduate debt-free, and already have my dream job set up before I graduate.”

I knew Rollins was right for me when … “I was congratulated for being a select applicant. For my ideal college to reach out to me with such great news was all that I needed. Rollins is going to change my life in such an amazing way.”

Eamon Kimball ’26Eamon Kimball ’26

Eamon Kimball ’26

Hometown: Jupiter, Florida

Why Rollins? “When I was 3 years old, my mom taught at Rollins’ Crummer Graduate School of Business. I remember swimming in the Rollins pool while a scuba-diving class practiced in the deep end. When I visited Rollins my junior year of high school, I immediately felt like I belonged. The campus is beautiful, and more importantly, everyone I met on each of my visits has been warm and encouraging.”

What about your #RollinsLife are you most looking forward to? “I hope to audition for theater productions and learn as much as I can from faculty and fellow actors. And even though I’m strangely shy for a theater person, I’m looking forward to meeting many new people.”

What’s on your Rollins bucket list? “My goals are to perform in as many theater productions as I can and make friends who I will know for decades to come.”

I knew Rollins was right for me when … “I attended a fantastic performance of Lynn Nottage’s Sweat at the Annie Russell Theatre. The acting was astoundingly good.”

Mark Goersch ’26Mark Goersch ’26

Mark Goersch ’26

Hometown: Satellite Beach, Florida

Why Rollins? “Rollins stood out to me because of its great reputation, small class sizes, hands-on learning, and great business program. On top of that, the campus is beautiful. Everyone seemed so friendly and welcoming. I feel I will make great friends here.”

What about your #RollinsLife are you most looking forward to? “I can’t wait to meet my roommate and make new friends to explore campus with and do new activities.”

What’s on your Rollins bucket list? “I’m looking forward to studying business and completing the 3/2 Accelerated Management Program. Before I graduate, I’d really like to have several internships to gain the right mix of work experience that will help me launch my career. I’d also like to make lifelong friendships.”

I knew Rollins was right for me when … “I finished the campus tour and was ready to pick my dorm.”

Karie Yanez ’26Karie Yanez ’26

Karie Yanez ’26

Hometown: Windermere, Florida

Why Rollins? “The moment I stepped onto campus I felt instantly welcomed and at home. The joyful environment of the campus, from the administrators to the students, made me feel like I’d be in a safe space where I could grow as a person. Everyone I met on campus felt like a new friendship waiting to start.”

What about your #RollinsLife are you most looking forward to? “I’m looking forward to having exciting and diverse classroom lessons that will be engaging while I work toward my major. I have heard so much from former and current students about all the amazing classes, from The Science of Superheroes to Dungeons & Dragons. I’m so excited to start my engaging and creative courses.”

What’s on your Rollins bucket list? “I want to study abroad and make amazing memories with new friends. I’ve always wanted to travel the world in a way that is beneficial to my education. I’m so excited to immerse myself in other cultures and get valuable work experiences. I can’t wait to look back on my college career and recall all the memories I made while at Rollins.”

I knew Rollins was right for me when … “I felt sad that my campus tour was over. From hearing about the amazing classes and the Division II athletics program to the connection the College has with Mister Rogers, I instantly knew this was the place for me.”

Professor and students in a class discussion at a Rollins outdoor classroom

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