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A Legacy Inspired

July 22, 2019

By: Allie Lyncha '21

Born a Mount Union Raider, Hannah Ferguson ’19 has always had her sights on her future.

“I decided to go to Mount because my dad, Ernie Ferguson ’78 is an alumnus and has raved about how wonderful Mount Union was all my life,” she said. “After coming for a visit and experiencing the community atmosphere of Mount, I fell in love with it myself. I feel very connected to my dad, graduating from the same place as he did. We have always been close, but being able to go through some of the same college experiences as him is special.”

Ernie has always been supportive of his daughter and her decisions, and he could not hide the fact that he was thrilled he was going to share similar experiences with her.

“I am elated that my daughter graduated from Mount Union,” Ernie said. “While I was a student, I was really involved in athletics. Being a triple sport athlete in cross-country, wrestling, and track, I was excited for my daughter to continue her basketball career at Mount. Although she retired after two years, her campus involvement and leadership beyond then has surpassed all of my expectations.”

Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Hannah grew up as someone who always cared for others. Her love and passion for the world came from the good of her heart but was influenced by the great people around her, making choosing her major a simple task.

“What drove me to choose early childhood education as my major is my desire to be a role model. Growing up, I had a multitude of role models who really played an important role in my development,” she said. “The idea that inspires me, both academically and throughout my endeavors, is the effect I could have on young lives. Students soak up everything you do, whether that be positive or negative. Being a role model means that you’re reliable, trustworthy, and a person of value. Having students rely on me to be at my best motivates me to exceed expectations.”

With her family by her side, she has been able to face everything head on, knowing she had a support system behind her. Obstacles were taken down one by one, pushing Hannah to be even stronger than she was before.

“One thing I’ve had to overcome to get to where I am today is being a minority student,” Hannah said. “As a person of color, a judgment is placed on you before you even speak. I believe these experiences have motivated me to want to be an educator, and more specifically a positive role model for students of color.”

Along with the things she has overcome, leadership positions on campus have also helped prepare Hannah to become a role model and build character.

“On campus, I have been a mentor in the Spectrum Education Center, a Raider Guide, and a sister of Alpha Chi Omega, where I served as vice president of new member education,” she said. “All of these leadership positions have helped shape who I am. I believe part of personal development is stepping outside of your comfort zone and pushing yourself to learn more of what you don’t know. My involvement on campus provided endless opportunities for me to grow and personally develop.”

Ernie believes that Hannah’s involvement has made her a more well-rounded person and is proud that she stepped out of her comfort zone to join Alpha Chi Omega.

“Mount has helped me by instilling in me a great education and a sense of connection within the campus,” Ernie continued. “However, I believe Mount Union has brought out a lot in my daughter. Through all of the faculty support, administrative assistance, and support in reaching her goals, I have seen my daughter flourish. Mount has truly helped me by guiding Hannah to reach her goals and graduate. It’s great that Hannah has already found a job as a result.”

As far as her future plans, Hannah hopes to continue to inspire young minds in the classroom as an eighth grade intervention specialist with Plain Local Schools in Canton, Ohio. With both her father’s experiences and opportunities of her own, she feels as though Mount has prepared her for the world in front of her, and there is no task too large.

“The people I have met and have built personal relationships with will stay with me throughout my life,” Hannah said. “I’ve found my role models, mentors, best friends, and future bridesmaids here. At Mount Union, everyone you meet has a different story; being able to accept those differences and form bonds with one another is something I will treasure forever.”