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KAREN KIST FULL AEB PROFILE

Graduation Date

1982

Major/minor

German and a minor in music.

Where are you from?

Kirtland, Ohio.

Where do you currently live?

Young Harris, Georgia.

3 words to describe yourself?

A bookworm, musical and fun-loving.

What is the most interesting thing about you?

I found the love of my life, my husband Jim, and married him in my forties! It's never too late to find true love. He was living in Chicago during my Hiram years—had not met him yet!

How did you find Hiram?

I grew up in northeastern Ohio and my family members were staunch Cleveland Browns fans. When I was a child the Browns conducted their summer training camps at Hiram, and my father used to bring us out to watch the team play. Somehow, Hiram stuck with me as I entered high school. I remembered the campus well, and I suddenly realized that I wanted to attend college there.   

What clubs were you involved in?

I was very much involved in music at Hiram. I sang in the choir and played piano in the jazz ensemble. I spent many, many hours in the Frohring music building. I was also involved in a social club called The Delphis. As I recall, we didn't have sororities at Hiram, but the social clubs were similar. I participated in extramural studies and spent a quarter during sophomore year in Hamburg, Germany. I also spent the entirety of my senior year in an international studies program in Germany.

Your favorite Hiram traditions?

Well, I don't think the college dining halls uses trays anymore, but in the 1970s we used to go "traying" in the snow behind the Kennedy Center. Trays were a great substitute for toboggans.

Favorite professor?

My favorite professors were Dr. Gustafson, Dr. David Anderson, German professor Sigrid Anderson and Professor Damaris Peters-Pike in music.

What is your favorite location on campus?

I loved to study in some of the nooks and crannies in the old library. There were plenty of corners and places to study alone or chat with friends.

What is your favorite Hiram memory?

My favorite memory by far is the extramural trip to Germany with Dr. and Mrs. Anderson. They took a group of students to Hamburg for a couple of months of language, literature and history study. We experienced the culture, grew into a close, cohesive group of students and laughed a lot!

What is the most important thing that you learned from Hiram?

I learned to treasure the arts, to overcome stage fright when performing, to "think on my feet" and thrive in a foreign culture.

Do you feel that Hiram prepared you for your future?

At Hiram I learned to explore and to take risks. The college afforded me opportunities to step out of my comfort zone and try new things. I studied abroad, learned to speak German fluently, learned (or "attempted" to learn) to play jazz piano, and developed an interest in economics and the social sciences. I have put all of this to use in my jobs and in life. Never let anyone tell you that a liberal arts education is not worth it. And even as Hiram must make changes to keep up with the current economic times and the challenges facing higher education, I believe the College's liberal arts heart will continue to beat strongly.

What is your current employment? Retired? What are you doing now?

I am the Director of Admissions at Young Harris College.

What do you enjoy in your spare time?

I enjoy playing my piano and guitar, reading, gardening and exercising. I also volunteer at various not-for-profit organizations that provide mentors to high school students.

What brought you back to Hiram and why the Alumni Executive Board (AEB)?

Over the years I followed events and activities on Hiram's alumni website, and I happened to read about the AEB on the web. I have been a member for one year. I have enjoyed the camaraderie and stories of other AEB members, and the opportunity to give a little bit back to Hiram while promoting the college in any way I can.

            

 

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