It was the subtle things she noticed: the handwritten acceptance letter, the Catholic foundation, the early 20th century architecture, the help-you-at-any-cost faculty and staff. Katherine Himmelman '13 was accepted into all six higher education administration graduate programs, but she chose Boston College because "it really reminded me of Elms in some important ways."

Finding Traces of Elms College in Beantown

Sun May 19, 2013

It was the subtle things she noticed: the handwritten acceptance letter, the Catholic foundation, the early 20th century architecture, the help-you-at-any-cost faculty and staff. Katherine Himmelman '13 was accepted into all six higher education administration graduate programs, but she chose Boston College because "it really reminded me of Elms in some important ways."

A Southampton, Massachusetts native, Katherine was awarded a competitive graduate assistantship in the student programs office where she will be responsible for the student union and running late night programming. Being the student government association president, a student ambassador, resident assistant, the student representative to the board of trustees, and active in the student activities office while at Elms College, Katherine had the leadership experience to manage events and work with student organizations.

During the interview process, Katherine was able to identify with Boston College's challenge of integrating Catholic values into student activities–whether it was organizing canned food drives on her floor or planning fun and safe activities on campus for Friday nights.

"I understand what it means to incorporate the mission of the college into your programming. That's something we've been sensitive to at Elms, asking 'How does this fit into the mission of the school? Is it really going to benefit the school?' If it's not, then it can't happen," Katherine said.

The graduate assistantship will house Katherine in a mansion called the O'Connell House and grants her a $500,000 budget. "It won't be bad," she said with a smile.

When she graduates from Boston College with a master of arts in higher education administration, Katherine may work for a year but will definitely pursue her doctorate, move into academia, and plans to eventually become an academic dean.

Katherine, a history and secondary education double major, is the class of 2013 valedictorian. View Katherine's commencement speech below.