Emory & Henry Made All the Difference

Posted by Monica Hoel
Rachel Harrison (E&H ’19) gleaned the full Emory & Henry experience before graduating.

Rachel Harrison says the best lesson she learned in college sounds cliche, but it’s true: “The best advice I would give anyone about college is to step out of your comfort zone. That’s what I did, and it made all the difference.”

Rachel graduated from Emory & Henry in 2019 (May) and just got offered a teaching job in Henry County (July). The interdisciplinary math major will be teaching second grade.

Rachel pledged a sorority (Alpha Beta Chi), did student teaching, and was known around campus as a champion disc golf player. “But when I came to Emory & Henry, I was so shy I could barely speak to anyone. Now I talk to everyone!”

And when we say she was a champion disc golf player, we don’t mean she tossed a Frisbee on the lawn of Weaver. You can google her and she shows up on the Professional Disc Golf Association webpage. “The E&H disc golf coach saw me throwing a disc one day and asked around to find out who I was. He recruited me for the College’s team. I got to play in the United State’s Women’s Disc Golf Championship. I don’t remember where I finished…but it wasn’t last!”

Rachel transferred to E&H as a sophomore from Virginia Tech, but what she missed of the E&H experience in that first year she makes up for in her family lineage: she’s the daughter of Paul (’82) and Martha Via Harrison (’82), the granddaughter of David (’51) and Betsy Via  and Eleanor Gibson Via (’54, deceased) and the great-granddaughter of former E&H President, Dr. Foye Gibson (’27, deceased). 

Rachel starts her new job at the beginning of August and will take to her classroom a strong education and plenty of experiences to get her through the jitters of the opening of school. And based on her disc golf skills, she won’t be bothered when life throws her a few curves.

  • Rachel Harrison, E&H Class of 2019, at the duck pond. Dr. Foye Gibson, by the way, was the E&H president who brought the pond to life! For years it was called "Hoot's Lake" since Dr. Gibson's nickname was Hoot.
“…step out of your comfort zone.That’s what I did, and it made all the difference.”

– Rachel Harrison, Emory & Henry Class of 2019

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