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Senior Farewell: Val Armstrong

Think of something super fast, now multiply that by infinity. You’ll then have the exact speed in which four years at college have gone by.  It seems like just yesterday my roommate and I were trying to get her car out of the parking lot during the worst winter storm freshmen year, all for a Greek pizza! Though the recent water gun fights in our townhouse would lead many to believe nothing has changed, I can attest to the fact that it has done so rather quickly.


Without a plan for the future in mind, the idea of college terrified me. I couldn’t stand the thought of paying all that money to go somewhere, find out I wasn’t good at anything, and return home to settle for being an average, second-rate somebody. However, I felt a certain sense of belonging on this campus during my first visit. While outside that day, a man came up and welcomed me to campus.  He asked me about myself and we talked briefly. Before I left, he shook my hand and said “good luck, I’m certain you’ll find what you’re meant to do and do great at it. And again, welcome to Franklin Pierce.” Even now, I have no idea who this man was, but he was right.


That moment set the tone for the next four years. Though I made mistakes along the way, my newly discovered confidence refused to let these regrets take away anything from what I had accomplished, such as becoming a Fitzwater Scholar and my work as member of the Pierce Arrow.  However, none of these accomplishments or successes academically or through my work with the Fitzwater Center were obtained purely on my own.


First off, my parents deserve a standing ovation for their patience and tolerance over the years. Mom, though you know it pains me to it, you were right when you told me that “big fish in the little pond” metaphor during my first visit. Dad, thanks for the many miles you put on the truck bringing my stuff back and forth, and motivating me to do well. I owe this whole experience to you both. A special thank you to my brother, Greg, who is best supporter and friend any sister could ever ask for. To my twin, Audrey, thank you for supporting me even though you’re 100 miles away. Additionally, to my grandparents, whose first question when I’m home was always “how’s the paper going?” Thank you for being loyal readers and fans. Lastly, to my best friend, Joey, all jokes aside I am so happy our paths crossed during our time here. However, I’m still in shock that you didn’t know we had a campus paper until you met me.


Also, none of my success would be possible without the amazing faculty and staff I have had the pleasure to meet and work with.  There are too many to mention, but I’d like to mention and thank three who helped and supported me in my academic endeavors throughout my four years here: Dr. Carl Brezovec, Professor John Valente, and Dr. Donna Decker. To my roomie, Liz L., the journey to graduation has had plenty of road blocks, but your perseverance has truly inspired me. Thank you for being a great roommate and an even better friend. To Amelia, who has been on the Pierce Arrow staff with me all four years, we’ve been through the numerous ups and downs with the paper and life itself, but I’m glad I’ve had you to laugh and cry with along the way. Jen, my fellow Fitzwater Scholar, thanks for the numerous coffee runs that kept me awake and productive during those late nights editing or in the office. To the rest of the girls in Lakeview 26, thank you for providing the comic relief, hugs, and shoulders to lean on when I needed it most. You ladies are wonderful and I see nothing but happiness and success in all of your futures.


Last, but not least, my sincerest thanks to the faculty and staff in the Fitzwater Center, Dr. Nevious, and the past editorial staffs. With your help, I was able to learn, grow, and further pursue my interest in journalism, despite being a math major. To Mike and the new staff, I wish you the best and look forward to seeing what happens next with the paper. I have high expectations and I’m certain you’ll exceed them all.


Good luck to all the 2013 graduates on your future endeavors, and farewell Franklin Pierce University.


Val Armstrong,
Managing Editor

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