Hannah Gardner is a fourth generation legacy student, but she didn’t feel pressured to come to Sterling College. “My sisters, my parents and their parents all went to Sterling, and everyone loved it. So I thought I might. I hadn’t really considered anywhere else. It was either Sterling College or taking classes at Washburn. I decided that I would rather have the college experience, and I’m really glad that I did.”

“Being out on my own allowed me to grow spiritually. My friends with similar viewpoints have been able to encourage me, and I have been challenged by those who think differently. I enjoy the broader idea of what people believe than just the background from where I came from.”

“I also appreciated the Bible studies that I did with Addie Swihart and the dorm team while I was a resident assistant. They looked into prayer life and dug deeper into some of the areas that I hadn’t really made my own yet. That was really helpful in forming me spiritually.”

Academically, Gardner started as an elementary education major and took a few art classes. She also held a leadership position in Sterling Art League. Part-way through her sophomore year, she realized that she didn’t enjoy elementary education and decided to pursue art.

“I would like to pursue photography as a career. I love to shoot for family and friends, so I will at least continue doing that on the side. I would also like to do photography for a nonprofit or something like that, but we’ll see what happens after graduation.”

Gardner moved into more campus leadership through the position of director of campus activities for Student Government Association, a position that was held by both of her sisters. She was also involved in the student senate, Campus Activities Board, and Sterling Choral and Highland Singers. Through her involvement, she has met a lot of different people and found what she loves most about Sterling College.

“I’ve made so many great, lifelong friends at Sterling. Through being in leadership and through being a resident assistant and dorm life, I have met a large variety of people and found how much I truly love people and want a job that allows me to interact with them.”

Gardner is returning to her home church to work as an intern with the youth group over the summer. She plans on pursuing photography or ministry as a future career.