BANNER ELK, N.C. - From participating in Student Government Association to playing on the men’s basketball team, senior London England has not wasted a minute of his four years at Lees-McRae. The Biology major with a minor in Marketing has tackled his college education head-on.
When deciding where he wanted to earn his bachelor’s degree, England was heavily influenced by the size of the school.
“Being able to come here and play basketball for four years was a huge reason I chose Lees-McRae, but it was also important to be able to go into a school where I wasn’t going to be just a number,” England said. “It seems like here you are part of a family, and everyone cares about you and wants the best for you, not just your tuition check.”
This feeling of family and a strong community has stuck with England for much of what he has accomplished during his time at Lees-McRae. As a junior he became a RA and joined Order of the Tower, two organizations that allowed him to share his love of the college with new and prospective students. His involvement on campus snowballed from there.
“There was no one filling the SGA president role, so I wanted to get involved in that as well, but I had to be the junior class president first just to get a year of involvement in SGA,” England said. “That allowed me to be SGA president this year, and then after that I really just wanted to help out as much as possible wherever I felt it was needed. That meant saying yes to a lot of things and offering help to a lot of different people.”
As SGA president, England said that he had a lot of responsibility. He explained that students pitch him ideas and club proposals, and even feel comfortable asking him questions about administrative topics. However, the most meaningful part to him about being SGA president is the opportunity to elevate the voices of other students.
“There was some worry earlier this year, and many students felt comfortable coming up to me about it. I was able to answer some of their questions and be a voice for their concerns,” England said. “Hearing all these ideas and opinions from my fellow students is not only inspiring but encouraging as well. When I see students going out of their way to create something or do something that they’re very passionate about it inspires me to continue to push forward and do what needs to be done to help them and have their back.”
While England already has a job in the insurance industry lined up after graduation, he hopes to eventually follow in the footsteps of many of his family members who are in the medical industry and go into medical device sales.
“If I’m in sales leading a team of associates, all these experiences at Lees-McRae will be really helpful, because they have helped me communicate and have taught me how to listen, not just direct,” England said. “Being able to listen to what people have to say and work through difficult conversations with them has been one of the biggest things I have learned, and in whatever job I go into it’s a great life lesson to be able to listen first and speak second.”
Although his journey at Lees-McRae will soon end, England’s time as a proud Bobcat will not. In fact, he hopes to continue his involvement with the college for years to come.
“I feel like Lees-McRae has given me so much just in my four years, so down the road I want to be able to give back and help as much as possible,” England said. “I know because of the opportunities that Lees-McRae has provided for me, that there are a ton of opportunities for people out there who are just like me. Whatever way I can help over the next couple years or the next 20 years, I’ll hopefully be able to help wherever I can.”