Whether a student, professor or faculty member, every Raven has their own AU story. Perhaps yours is a legacy story or maybe one of paving your own way. People from different states, countries and continents have made AU home over the years.
AU is more than just an institution or a college campus. AU is made up of the people who call this place home, and the stories of what brought them here are what keep AU alive.
As we continue to grow in community together, every individual “My AU Story” becomes a small snapshot of our AU story.
Matthew Mitchell wasn’t planning on following in the footsteps of his family by choosing to attend AU. In fact, Mitchell had already committed to another university when, at the last minute, he decided to become a Raven.
Mitchell is a freshman mechanical engineering major who is on the football team and is a member of the engineering club on campus.
“I was already committed to Penn State,” said Mitchell. “But then I came to Indianapolis for the Church of God International Youth Convention, and I talked to some AU representatives, and that’s when I decided to give it a shot. I just went for it.”
Mitchell has lived in both Pennsylvania and Florida, and now he calls Anderson home.
“I was pretty nervous to come here. Seven hours is far from my family,” he said. “I lived in Florida for 15 years, so that’s where I call home, but I tell people that I have a temporary home in Pennsylvania. And now I have a temporary home here at AU.
“AU has lived up to my expectations. It’s a small, family-oriented community, and everyone is willing to help you.”
When Evan Packard began his search for colleges in high school, he was no stranger to AU.
After moving from Colorado to Indiana in the fifth grade, he spent eight years living just five minutes away from campus.
“I first knew about AU because both of my parents and my aunt went here,” he said. “So as I was growing up in Colorado, I heard a lot about AU but had no concrete idea of what it was like. But then I moved to Indiana in fifth grade and lived just down the road from campus.”
Choosing a college was a difficult decision for Packard. “I was pretty torn between Southeastern University in Florida and AU, but I knew if I played it safe and chose what is familiar, I would always have that ‘what if’ in the back of my mind. I thought, ‘what if I branch out?’”
So Packard spent his first year of college hundreds of miles away from the place he had called home for eight years before deciding to return and begin his journey as a Raven.
Packard said, “I enjoyed my time at Southeastern, but I knew I would have a better experience at AU based off of the people I knew in this community, so I decided to return to Anderson.”
“Just as I chose to return to Indiana, my dad’s job moved my parents to Colorado. So now I have that feeling of being on my own, but in a familiar environment.”
“When I’m here, it feels like home.” said Packard.
“I think I definitely made the right decision when I picked a small school like AU. I’m a finance major in the School of Business, and I like the class sizes and love the professors. Being able to develop a relationship with my professors is really meaningful to me.”
For senior Pia Goßweiler, the decision to come to AU was a matter of stepping into the call she believes God has placed on her life.
“The first decision I had to make was choosing between Germany and the U.S.” said Goßweiler, who has called both Germany and Indonesia home.
As Goßweiler was deciding where to continue her education, she kept returning to a passage from the Bible—Genesis 12:1, which says, “The Lord said to Abram, ‘Leave your land, your family and your father’s household for the land that I will show you.’”
“Germany is my fatherland, and Indonesia is my motherland, so the more I thought about the verse, the more I felt I was supposed to leave what was familiar,” she said. “So I decided to come to the U.S.”
Goßweiler attended an international high school in Indonesia for three years where AU alums Scott and Anjie Martin worked.
“I always thought I would go to Germany for college because it is free,” she said. “But the Martins talked to me about AU and encouraged me to apply. So I did.”
The verse Genesis 12:1 kept reappearing unexpectedly in Goßweiler’s life, and she felt reaffirmed in her decision to come to the U.S.
One of Goßweiler’s favorite aspects of AU is living in a faith-based community. “Christian universities don’t exist as a concept in Germany,” she said. “The society is so secular and in Indonesia, even though I went to a private Christian school, we lived in a primarily Muslim population. My father is a missionary, which is illegal, so I was taught to not talk about my faith.”
Goßweiler continues to pursue the calling on her life through studying theatre at AU.
“I’ve chosen theatre as my career,” she said. “That’s where my calling is. People told me the theatre world was a dark place full of people living far away from the Word. But I don’t want to be a light in the light. I want to be a light in the darkness. And to do that I need as much oil as I can get. Through my experience with Christian education, AU and the people I’ve encountered, I’m receiving that. What I really treasure is the freedom to speak about my faith.”
For Assistant Professor of Graphic Design Samantha Yoo, the move from New York City to Anderson was quite a sacrifice. She gave up the exciting lifestyle and thriving arts scene of the Big Apple for a small university in Indiana. This transition, though difficult, offered Yoo the opportunity to combine her love for teaching and sharing her faith.
“When I taught in New York City it was a secular education,” she said. “My director mentioned that you cannot assign religious projects. When I heard that, I thought, wait a minute, this is America—a Christian country.
“I had to really consider if what I was doing was worth it,” she said. “When I prayed at the time, I felt like I needed to be in the teaching field. And I realized I could teach somewhere else. America is not limited to New York City. So I started applying to different schools.
“Coming here was a culture shock.” Yoo said. “But I’ve started to appreciate a different lifestyle. I love learning about new places and different cultures and discovering about Indiana.”
For Professor Yoo, the relationships she has at AU are invaluable.
“I love AU,” said Yoo. “When I was teaching in New York, there was no relationship with the students. Here, I can engage with the students. I love watching the students grow in their skills and talking to them about their lives.”
The freedom Yoo has at AU to share more than just her knowledge with her students is rewarding. At AU, Yoo can step into not just her vocation, but her calling as well.
“This is my calling—teaching students,” she said. “Graphic design is my talent, the skill that I have, but teaching is my calling. Here, I love the relationships I have, and that I’m able to pray for students and that we can share about God together.”