Thanks for the memories

Alumni reflect on past in preparation for returning to Ferris

With homecoming on the horizon, Ferris alumni have begun to return to their former stomping grounds in celebration of the fall reunion.

Many students wonder what their life after graduation will bring them, whether it be starting a family, finding a job they love or where they plan to live.

Ferris 1993 alumnus Luke Wyckoff, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in marketing sales, an associate’s degree in audiovisual productions and a minor in speech communications, is one of many examples to show that anything is possible after graduation. While Wyckoff doesn’t find his story to be especially unique, he notes that many students remain in their vocations in which they’ve graduated whereas he found himself working at a paper company for a few years after graduating before taking multiple paths that led him to where he
is today.

“I decided not to work for corporate America,” Wyckoff said. “I’ve decided to be an entrepreneur and start my own companies and make my own way. But I still have a lot of honor and respect for those still in their vocation that they graduated from Ferris with.”

During his time at Ferris, Wyckoff was a highly active student on campus, having been a fraternity member of Lambda Chi Alpha, co-captain of two-time national champion Ferris debate team, one of the founders of Ferris’ rugby team, member of Ferris Wheels barbershop quartet, president of Interfraternity Council and a freelance photographer for the Pioneer. In addition, both his father and sister attended Ferris. Reflecting on his past experiences, Wyckoff’s strongest memory was as a Ferris Debate team member and having the opportunity to debate and beat universities such as Boston College and Harvard University.

Ferris public relations 2003 alumna Jessi Wortley Adler is also from a multi-generational Ferris family — Adler’s parents, cousins and other relatives have all attended Ferris, with her step-daughter now a junior at Ferris, as well. Recalling her time spent at Ferris, Wortley Adler sums it up as being “phenomenal,” stating that Ferris assisted her academically by helping her become well-prepared for a variety of careers using her degree.

A member of Ferris’ Alumni Association Board of Directors and the Honors Program Advisory Board, Wortley Adler was honored by Ferris in 2012 with the Pacesetter Award.

Unlike Wortley Adler and Wyckoff, Ferris public relations 2016 alumni Kaitlyn Patrick was the first in her family to graduate from Ferris, as well as the first in her immediate family to graduate with a four-year degree. When thinking back to what she misses most, she finds it to be the people.

“I had exposure to organizations that pride themselves on a sense of community, but none have been comparable to what I found at Ferris,” Patrick said.

During her junior year, Patrick lost her childhood best friend in an accident, stating it to be the hardest thing she has ever gone through. It was through the love and support of her Ferris family that helped her cope with her loss. After grieving, Patrick remembers returning to Ferris with many fellow Bulldogs telling her she “didn’t seem like ‘KP’ anymore.” It was after her adviser, Dr. Patrick Bishop, also noticed the difference that Patrick realized she needed to take better care of herself.

“As I hope you gathered, that was a very tough time in my life, and it was a part of my most happiest time: being at Ferris. So, when you ask me, ‘How did Ferris play a part in who you are today?,’ it is this situation that has a defining moment of who I am. Because of the people and resources I had available to me, I became a stronger and better ‘KP,’ and I feel I owe a lot of that to Dr. Bishop,” Patrick said.

When reflecting back on whether she would do anything differently, Patrick believes she wouldn’t change anything.

“I believe the experiences you gain, whether they’re from opportunity or challenges, are ones that prepare you for life not just a career. And that’s what Ferris did for me: prepared me for life,” Patrick said.