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SAU 2023 Senior Spotlights

Each year at SAU, we look forward to highlighting our graduating seniors as well as their personal journeys, accomplishments and future plans. Each student has a unique perspective of how their time at Spring Arbor shaped them for the future.

Here are what a few have to say about their time at SAU:

Madison Marshall

“College has been a significant time for me to explore my identity and grow into the person God has called me to be. I can say that I am a completely different person now than I was when I first arrived at SAU. Spring Arbor University has successfully incorporated Christian faith into academics while also allowing me to gain a broader understanding of different views and beliefs. Getting my education at SAU has meant building the skills and qualities needed to pursue a career in business. There is an excellent sense of community here, and I am so happy I have been able to experience it.”

Jasmine Pattison

“I transferred to SAU in the spring semester of my junior year, and quickly started enjoying my classes and getting to know the professors in the Gainey School of Business. They not only care about the subject matter but your personal life and spiritual growth as well. Outside of classes, I spent time working at Sacred Grounds having coffee every day, working with great co-workers, and meeting so many people on campus. My classes have given me the opportunity to work on projects with local businesses to put book material into practice. They enhanced my critical thinking skills and prepared me for my job search. SAU has taught me how to practically incorporate and depend on my faith in my future career.”

Jasmine Pattison shaking hands with President Ellis at the fall 2022 commencement.

Mya Bonnema

“Your college experience is all about attitude and perspective – try to get involved, put yourself out there and remember that God is sovereign. It is not going to be perfect; learn to be okay with that!”

You can read Mya’s full story here.

Lauren Hendricks

Lauren Hendricks is a senior Business Administration major who chose SAU after she visited in high school and felt that the Lord was calling her here. Lauren spent two years at SAU as an RA in Gainey Hall and joined the marketing department her senior year after deciding to pursue a career in higher ed marketing.

As she gets ready to graduate, Lauren says, “I could have never even dreamed that I have the kind of friendships that I do now, all thanks to SAU,” and that is what she is most grateful for from Spring Arbor University!

Gabe Saurbek

Gabe Saurbek, a Senior Marketing major from Jackson, Michigan, transferred to SAU his sophomore year. After coming to Spring Arbor University and acclimating to his life as a commuter, Gabe was worried about finding his place. He quickly got involved on campus by getting a job as a cameraman in the AV department and playing every intramural sport he had the chance to. Gabe’s biggest piece of advice is not to be afraid to put yourself out there! Although it can be awkward initially, he says he would regret not having so many personal relationships post-graduation.

So, what’s next for Gabe? He does not entirely know yet, but he is confident that God knows and will lead him where he is meant to be. His future goals are to market for a professional sports team as he immerses himself in a future career.

Grace Cotter

Grace Cotter is a senior Sports Management major and Entrepreneurship minor who, after planning on playing basketball at a different university, contacted Coach Darling and asked for a spot on the women’s tennis team.

“I played tennis in high school, and it was fun, so I took the chance.”

She played on the tennis team all four years and served as the basketball team chaplain. During this time, she met her now fiance, Trevor, when God brought them together to bring faith into athletics.

When she graduates, she wants to travel and take time to adjust to married life. Eventually, Grace wants to work in the sports business world in a big city!

You can read her full story here.

Cole Eshuis

Cole Eshuis, from Scotts, MI, came to SAU to grow his relationship with God and build lifelong friendships with others while getting his degree in Business Administration. At SAU, Cole was a part of the men’s golf team and served as a presidential ambassador. He says one of his favorite memories in college was his cross-cultural trip to Morocco.

“My appreciation for God, His creation, and His people grew immensely in Morocco. That trip was a transformative experience in my life.”

Post graduation, Cole will be accepting a position at Alro Steel in Battle Creek, MI, to jumpstart his career in business and see where his 21 years of preparation will take him next!

To read his full story, click here.

Arielle Knight

Arielle Knight is a Marketing major who experienced many trials as a student yet reflects on her time at SAU as some of the best years of her life. As a student, she was diagnosed with two chronic illnesses and lost her father (Dr. E. Allen Knight) to pancreatic cancer. Still, she was determined to stick to her original plan of graduating in the spring of 2023 and has since finished the year strong! After graduation, Arielle will pack up everything she owns and make the 70-hour drive to start her new job in Denali National Park, Alaska.

You can read her full story here.