Kennedy Connor Criminal Justice Student at Lineberry Memorial Clock Tower

"I feel God more here than anywhere else I’ve ever been."

I first attended a university in Kansas. God put on my heart that wasn’t where I needed to be, but I was headstrong and thought it would be fine. After the first month, I knew it wasn’t the place for me. God made it clear that wasn’t His plan for me.

I told mom, “I don’t know where to go.” I had visited HSU my senior year of HS and I loved it. I don’t know why I didn’t come here, first. We came back to visit, and I fell in love all over again. I knew this was where God wanted me to be. I made friends the first week of school. Some of my best friends are on the track team. I feel God more here than anywhere else I’ve ever been. This is family. It really is. I love it here.

My professors helped me with applications and internships. They care about me as a person. They know me. They know my story. They know my life. We may be discussing a controversial or touchy subject, but you know you’re all connected by God here. I love going to class and really learning. My professors are engaging and interesting. They are interested in our futures.

The Criminal Justice program is phenomenal – the teachers, Dr. Karin Brown and Mr. Ryan Hunter, care about you. What you get here as an undergraduate is very extensive. You’re learning across the spectrum of criminal justice – juvenile justice, forensic interviewing – it’s a special experience here.

The family atmosphere – with my coach, teachers, friends – is what keeps me here. My best friend and I are on the track team together. We live together. You make friends with everyone here. It really is like a homey atmosphere. I feel at home. That is really special to me.

Education enlightened by faith is real. I had a professor pray before class or read a devotional every day. We end all of our track sessions with prayer. I did go to a Christian university before here, but it didn’t even have chapel. The professors didn’t talk about God. I didn’t know where my faith fit into that. It was difficult not having that path of, “Here’s what God says about this.”

People here encourage me when things can be hard and tough – they keep me accountable. HSU has given me a sense of security in myself, self-confidence. Everyone around me is rooting for me and caring for me. I went to a big high school and didn’t know a lot of people. Here, I never feel alone.

I didn’t want to go to a big college where I was just a number. When my track coach comes in with recruits, I tell them if you want to go to a big university, that’s great. But, you won’t find the kind of atmosphere there that you will find here. I hear freshman come in all the time who say, “This is home, already.” Whether it’s sports, academics, or friendships, it’s family here. Someone will always have your back.

HSU is a place where you are encouraged to think, be strong in your faith, make friends and grow. HSU is home.