Seniors to Remember: Taylour Kumpf
Hometown: Columbus, Neb.
Major: English, minor in Environmental Studies
Notable activities: Editor-in-chief of The Heights; campus tour guide for Undergraduate Admission; College of Arts and Sciences Honors Program; member of research group that helped launch BC’s first-ever Sustainable Living-Learning Community.
Post-graduation plans: Pursue a career in publishing in New York City.
Overview: A talented writer and editor and respected voice among students, this former editor-in-chief of The Heights, whose commitment often exceeded 50 hours per week, managed more than 200 students and helped the paper win two coveted ACP Pacemaker Awards for excellence in college journalism. She also won (along with David Cote ’14 and Daniel Tonkovich '13) the Christopher J. Georges Award for Excellence in Student Journalism from the Nieman Foundation, while also finding time to serve as a volunteer tour guide for Undergraduate Admission.
How have your activities influenced your four years at Boston College?
The years I spent writing and working as an editor for The Heights completely defined my Boston College career. I could never have predicted when I first stepped foot on this campus just how important The Heights would come to be, but the experience has truly been a blessing. The people I’ve met, the friendships I’ve made, and the large family I’ve become a part of can’t be matched. Moreover, The Heights has provided me with a unique perspective on campus life and the BC community at large. In reporting on the issues that have shaped this University and interacting with administrators and student leaders, I feel I have come to know this place quite well – it’s a place committed to its students, it’s a place dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge – both in and out of the classroom – and it’s a place I will forever call home.
Which faculty members had the greatest effect on your personal development?
Mary Joe Hughes in the A&S Honors Program had a great effect on me. Her passion for education is incredibly inspiring, and her believing in me helped me to recognize my own self-worth. I will never forget, on the last day of class my sophomore year, when she brought in a big bag of composted dirt from her garden and dumped it in the middle of the table. She told us we all had to go out now and cultivate our own gardens. Maybe it’s the fact that I did landscaping for three summers throughout high school, but this spoke to me in ways I cannot fully express in words.
I also had the opportunity to take two classes with [Professor] Carlo Rotella in English, and one, Magazine Writing, was far and away the most practical class I took at BC; the other, The City in Literature and Film, left me wanting to ask him for his movie recommendations.
I also had the great fortune of taking Religious Quest with [Theology Associate Professor] John McDargh. When I think of what it means to attend a Jesuit, Catholic institution, I think of Professor McDargh. He cares so deeply about his students and inspires not only religious, but also personal and intellectual growth. He has been an important spiritual guide in my life, and the lessons he taught me will not soon be forgotten.
How has Boston College made a difference in your life?
I took a giant leap of faith when I decided to attend Boston College four years ago. Coming from a small town in Nebraska where people rarely leave, I was reminded repeatedly of the risk I was taking. But what my time at Boston College has taught me is that dreaming big and taking risks are worth it. Even if you fail, you learn something in the process. My Boston College education has made me a more complete person – one who is sure of her convictions and ready for the next big leap.
What will you miss most about BC?
In this setting, at this moment, I feel as if anything is possible. I know who I am, I know who my friends are, and as I begin the next leg of the race, I will miss that assured feeling. I will miss the people who make BC so special to me – not only my Heights family, but everyone on this campus, because we are all connected. Each person -– every faculty member, every student -– plays a role in creating a challenging academic setting while, at the same time, nurturing the development of the person you’re meant to be.