‘I knew at that moment my life was about to change’: 2023 graduates reflect on how a liberal arts education shaped their minds — and their futures

Author: Jon Hendricks

Development — as scholars and people — was a common theme for seven members of the Class of 2023 as they reflected on the significance of their College of Arts & Letters education.

Connor Tsikitas knew growing up that he wanted to attend Notre Dame. And when he realized his dream, the political science major made the most of it, also exploring anthropology, gender studies, and languages.

“I think I've become a more understanding person and more open in terms of understanding people's perspectives and different backgrounds,” he said.

The first time Isabella Byler saw the Golden Dome, she knew her life would change. Through courses and travel, the art history and Program of Liberal Studies major examined fascinating topics with professors and peers, as well as Aristotle and Nietzsche.

For Hattie Meehan, the College was a unique and ideal fit, where she could use both her left brain and right brain.

“It has allowed me to study two things, two very different things, that I am very passionate about,” said the Spanish and Arts & Letters pre-health major.

Abby Urban’s values are represented at Notre Dame, and she’s proud to call the University home. The film, television, and theatre major — who was an on-air host at a TV station as a senior — is thrilled with her academic progress and career connections.

Neuroscience and behavior major Liana Bigaud has found a supportive family at Notre Dame, one that has encouraged her to examine larger-than-life questions, embrace solidarity and the common good, and use her voice to impact positive change. 

Aidan Creeron thinks about how he can utilize what he’s learned in classes to benefit others. The economics and history major said whatever career he chooses, his liberal arts background has provided him with skills and framework to be successful.

Victor Gomez thinks critically and with a set of values in mind. The political science, theology, and Latino studies major said he’s deeply appreciative of professors and friends.

“I think what I'll remember most about my time in Notre Dame is the impact that I've been able to make here as a member of this community in campus ministry, in the College of Arts and Letters, in the Latino community, as well feel the impact that all those communities had on me.”

Originally published by Jon Hendricks at al.nd.edu on May 25, 2023.