As Wartburg students, it’s easy to forget sometimes that we will always be Knights.
That means that even after we graduate we are representing the college in our careers.
The notion that we don’t stop being Knights when we receive our diploma is particularly noteworthy in light of recent events involving alums.
A few weeks ago Jennifer Livingston took a stand against bullying and garnered national attention.
Then last week another Wartburg alumna made news headlines when she was arrested for sexual misconduct and exploitation of her students. Ashley Anderson (Ritter) graduated in 2010 and is an ex-teacher at Aplington-Parkersburg high school.
These two incidents are in stark contrast with one another, but both are Wartburg graduates and both bring up the issue of how we present ourselves after graduation.
As former Knights make headlines, current students are forced to look at their attitudes and actions as a reflection of the college.
Every year a quarter of the college’s population graduate and begin their lives outside of the “Wartburg Bubble.”
Many companies in the community and across the nation equate Wartburg students with excellence. Looking at the diverse lineup available at the career fairs is a testament to the school’s reputation.
Our reputation as Knights cannot be made solely by students, though. It is the alumni and their actions in the working world that create the atmosphere we enter into when we graduate.
When stories like Livingston’s gain attention, Knights swell with pride for the bravery and the “spirit of Wartburg” she brings with her.
But when stories like Anderson’s hit the presses we cringe a little.
For those of us graduating, or those who are alumni, we have to keep in mind that what we do in our careers filters down, creating an image of Wartburg that will affect future graduates.