Graduating seniors recall favorite memories, most significant lessons

Stephen Dennis ’11 says his favorite college memory was meeting friends every Wednesday night. They created an informal intentional community, sharing dinner and talking for hours on end.

Major: Creative writing
Minors: English and coaching
Senior Thesis: A book of poems, titled Neurologists Watching Football

Dennis has spent his summers coaching hundreds of children in basketball camps throughout the Northwest. He’s a voracious reader who also competes as a student-athlete for the Track and Field program, placing third in the high jump at the 2011 Northwest Conference Championships.

His poetry allows him to think critically about larger themes, while also allowing him to “unpack small moments — moments that would have otherwise just passed by in the noise of everyday life.”

Most significant thing I learned in college

“I learned the necessity of stepping outside of myself and turning off the radio station that’s tuned only to my needs and wants,” Dennis says. “I need to be willing to listen to the frequencies of other people — particularly those in close proximity — but also people around the globe. I need to continually rethink who my neighbor is.”

Favorite college memories

Dennis speaks fondly of his weekly meetings with “Wednesday night community,” a time when he and his friends would intentionally encourage each other, while talking about ways they could pursue and create a better way of living.

Future goals

This fall, Dennis will be applying to graduate school programs with the goal of obtaining either an MFA in poetry or a PhD in literature. Down the line, he would like to work at a small school like Linfield, where he could balance teaching, writing, and coaching.


Poems from Neurologists Watching Football