Rockland Seniors Share Hillside Memories

At a recent brunch on the Rockland County campus, graduating seniors shared parting thoughts about Nyack’s impact on their lives. There was a common thread in what was heard; their words were the sound of personal transformation. This small selection of comments make it clear that none of them were leaving quite the same as when they came.

Rockland Seniors Share Hillside Memories

“I will probably cry because that’s who I am, but who Sam is now, she couldn’t be four years ago. The crying is joy. But so many times it didn’t look like that. So friends, as we leave, the journals that you’ve written, reflect on them, continue writing them because the resources that we’ve taken from this place, they are going to be used for the rest of our lives…wherever we go.”
Samantha Aupperlee, Youth and Family Studies

Rockland Seniors Share Hillside Memories


“I remember the day I was leaving for Nyack. I was crying, saying I don’t want to go. I’m just so scared. Not realizing that when I walked on to campus I would be welcomed and genuinely welcomed. And I’d be welcomed by people who would impact my life and walk alongside me and push me towards Jesus and push me towards freedom and push me towards healing and it has been a wonderful thing. Something I learned about a year ago that I’ve been pressing into more is understanding the concept that we are made for community because we’re made in the image of God. God is a part of the trinity so He’s constantly living in community. That means if we’re made in the image of God we’re supposed to live in community constantly ourselves. It’s one thing to know it, but it’s another thing to actually believe it. And being here and having real genuine friends and people who have just loved on me despite my messiness and issues and have helped push me towards Jesus and help me realize I can be cared for and it has truly changed my life and it’s something you get at Nyack that you don’t get at other colleges. And even as you leave and even as this campus leaves, remember the community isn’t disappearing.”
Linnea McDonald, Youth and Family Studies

Rockland Seniors Share Hillside Memories

“I’m most thankful for Nyack is for giving vision. I think coffee is a big thing that came out of Nyack for me. But it goes well beyond that. I want to do coffee because I see how it can enrich community and I think that’s something that because of Nyack I will always be interested in–knowing what sweet community can look like. I think that’s something we should all take with us. When we look at the life of Jesus and

we look at the disciples, they did life in community. When they went out, it was in groups of at least two. Even in the next season as was just said here, it might not be as easy to have that community but seek it out. Really look for it. Keep pushing into that even after we leave here. I want to be in community. I want to be surrounded by people who are going to push me closer to God.”
Peter Nehlsen, Intercultural Studies
Cultivate Coffee, Co-owner

Rockland Seniors Share Hillside Memories

“I am a graduating nursing student. I want to really give a shoutout to God. Personally in my journey, I had given up on my life…found no worth or value in it. I think coming here meeting new friends, engaging in enlightening conversation and really developing trust and love for students and faculty it means a lot. It showed me that no matter how little worth I have in myself, God has a greater plan for each and every one of us. I want to encourage us to really take this next step to go forward. Trust God in everything. Even though you won’t have this Christian community to really lean on, we’ll always be together in spirit. And God has a bright future for all of us and a brighter future for those who we will encounter in the future Your presence and your interactions with everyone…it makes a difference.”
Sukjoon Lee, Nursing