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More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Pierson Wofford

Graduation year: 2020

High school: Springfield Lutheran High School

Hometown: Springfield, Ill.

Majors: Public health, anthropology 

Activities: Varsity basketball (2020 Most Outstanding Player; two-time first-team All-CCIW; second-team NABC All-District), Rho Nu Delta fraternity (honorary member)

Internship: Undependent Rock Island community organization

Post-grad plans: Find a job in the Chicagoland area in parks and recreation or public health

Why Augustana?    

From the moment I stepped onto campus, Augie felt like home. I was truly blessed to be surrounded by not just great friends and teammates, but awesome peers and faculty. I thought this was a coincidence, but then I realized that these are the type of people Augie brings together—people who are competitive and working hard to be the best, but still friendly and willing to lend a hand when you need it.

Are you where you thought you'd be when you first came to campus?    

Nowhere close. Coming in, I had lots of preset notions about how my college experience should go, but I soon learned that things can take a turn fast. While I am not where I thought I would be, I am prepared to take the next steps in my life thanks to my education and experience at Augie.

Who helped you get to where you are now?    

So many people in my life have made sacrifices so that I can be here today. My mom, dad, sister and the real of my family are the first. If it wasn’t for their love and support, I would have failed!

I thank all of the Augie community for supporting and believing in our basketball team for the past few years. Playing in front of the Carver crowd is something I will never forget.

Peak experience?  

Hitting the game-winning buzzer beater against Elmhurst at home. #Priceless

What surprised you?    

The freedom you have, but still the confinements of a tight schedule. Student-athletes live very different lives than other students. While having no mother around to tell you what to do seems like a great thing, being a student-athlete was nice to keep you on track.

How did you use your Augie Choice?  

My sophomore year we took our team basketball trip to Spain and Italy! We played some games and did some of the most beautiful sightseeing.

What will you miss the most?    

The people. The friends I have made here will be with me forever, and we have Augie to thank for that.

Advice for the Class of 2024? 

Don’t be afraid to fail. Failure is a part of the process. You need to fail and fail again, before you can truly ever learn.

"Pierson has been a difference-maker during his time at Augustana, and I have been impressed with his development and growth. His road to graduation had a few bumps, but his relentless grit and the constant support provided by his family and friends pushed him to the finish line. I am eager to watch Pierson make his mark on the world!"

– Mike Zapolski, director, athletics