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Senior Spotlight: Arielle Knight

Arielle Knight

Arielle Knight is a Marketing major from just down the road in Jackson, Michigan. She chose to come to Spring Arbor University to carry on her father’s legacy, Dr. Allen Knight, a long-time professor here. Although she wishes she could say college was the best four years of her life, Arielle faced some of her biggest challenges during her years at SAU. 

“What a four years it has been,” she says.

“My freshman year, I ended up in the hospital and discovered two chronic illnesses, and the rest of my college experience changed from there,” Arielle says. Even simple things like living in the dorms or having a meal plan became an unexpected challenge for her. If that was not enough, life turned upside down her junior year when her dad was diagnosed with bladder cancer, and while he was in remission, his doctors found pancreatic cancer.

Ultimately, it took his life about a year later, in December of 2022, a semester before Arielle graduated. As hard as the experience was, Arielle says through it, she could see the love of Jesus within the SAU community during this time. She got to meet and know so many people and students her dad impacted and enjoys reflecting on those memories. 

Regardless of her trials, Arielle was determined to finish her senior year strong and headed to Morocco for her cross cultural in late December. During the three weeks she was in Morocco, she was immersed in a new culture and got to experience a different way of life. Her highlights included riding camels in the Sahara Desert, getting a tattoo at a local shop, and getting to know the locals. She traveled with other students to new cities every few days to meet new people and try new things!

“It was amazing,” she recalls. “I know most colleges do not provide this kind of opportunity to their students.” 

There, she built strong friendships and learned a lot about Moroccan culture. She loved Morocco and the whole experience so much that she hopes to go back someday! As she returned for her last semester and looked back on her cross cultural trip, Arielle says it was her favorite memory from college. 

Aside from her cross cultural trip, one of Arielle’s favorite memories during college was working in the Marketing & Communication office during her later student years. She fulfilled important roles like email development and content coverage for the various CCS trips students embarked on. Her goal was to prepare students to show the SAU community everything they were doing on mission trips, school trips, and CCS trips. Arielle says some of her greatest friendships came from co-workers she met in the office. 

After she graduates, Arielle is putting her marketing career on hold and heading to Alaska to work at Denali National Park to experience a part of the country she has not seen. Just days after graduation, she will make the 70-hour road trip with everything she owns in the trunk of her car as she travels to Alaska and then from park to park! Arielle is passionate about hiking and exploring the world so she is excited to prioritize that when she graduates. 

She says, “I want to cultivate new experiences and take life one day at a time!” 

SAU has been blessed by Arielle in her four years at Spring Arbor, and we are excited to see what adventure she takes on next! 

Good luck, Arielle! 

Written by SAU Marketing student by Autumn Tingue.