"If you want a holistic college experience in which you are growing in mind, body, society and soul, then Spring Hill College is the ideal place for you." Sophomore Lourdes Tuñón of Miami, Florida, shares what she says guides her throughout her student life at the College.
Tuñón is serving her second year in a row as class president, volunteers for the homeless ministry, guides freshman through their first year and is a member of the Phi Mu sorority, in addition to keeping up with theology and education courses.
Last year, as a member of the student government association, she helped bring back the Mardi Gras parade, a project she said was more stressful because she had never been to a parade.
Tuñón's leadership exemplifies the unique spirit of "cura personalis," or care for the whole person, a Jesuit tradition in place at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama since its founding in 1830.
Tuñón encourages incoming students to consider all the possibilities the school has to offer.
"Step out of your 'box' from high school," she said. "College is your chance to explore all your interests and pursue all your goals, so take advantage of the opportunities you come across."
The close-knit community on "the Hill" has inspired and supported Tuñón since her first visit.
"When I came to tour campus, I walked around with a current student, and every single person knew her and introduced themselves to me," she said. "Everyone I saw said 'hi' to me and made me feel seen and accepted. I knew that was if I were to come here, I'd have a place in the community."
That community includes the faculty, who genuinely care about their students, Tuñón said.
"The teachers know me, care about my well-being and educate me for the sake of becoming a better student," she said. "You cannot get that at any given college."
The self-proclaimed "non-math girl" cited calculus professor Dr. Stephen Bressie as one of her favorite teachers because he explained the theory behind his lessons. Catholicism professor Dr. Stephen Wilson "is truly an amazing communicator and teacher," Tuñón said, and American Literature professor Dr. Robert Arbour, "gives strong and uplifting feedback on his assignments and makes me yearn to become a better writer and student."
Time with her seven closest friends, "the biggest blessing Spring Hill has ever given me," helps ground Tuñón. Her friends remind her to take care of herself so she can keep helping others, she said. She and her friends enjoy going to the beach, visiting the local coffee shop across the street and attending Mass together.
"We all met each other individually and because of social events but were grounded in friendship due to our faith," she said.
After graduation, Tuñón is considering teaching theology in an inner-city program or possibly joining the Peace Corps to continue her social activism. Regardless, she's confident she'll be ready for the next challenge.
"Spring Hill truly lives up to its motto of 'cura personalis' and will help you become a leader in all of your communities, both immediate and global."