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Anne Bak
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Anne Bak

Graduation year: 2021

High school: Dunlap High School

Hometown: Peoria, Ill. 

Major: Instrumental music performance – cello

Minor: French

Activities: American String Teacher Association, Phi Rho sorority, peer mentor, podcaster   

Post-grad plans: Graduate school for cello performance

Why Augustana?

Augustana allows you to be curious of new things and helps you become the best version of yourself.

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

Absolutely not. I was not confident in my abilities as a performer or a leader. And now I lead multiple groups on campus while completing my performance degree.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

All of my professors and friends have helped me get to where I am now.  The support I receive on a daily basis is more than I imagined, and I am forever grateful for such a nurturing environment.

Peak experience?

My Junior Recital was my peak experience. Because of COVID, it was moved to the fall of my senior year. It was the first performance since quarantine, and I was so proud of myself after performing. I got to play with two very talented musicians, and it was truly an unforgettable experience.

What surprised you?    

I was surprised at how many subjects I am interested in. I loved philosophy, geology, sociology, psychology and so many other classes I did not think I would like. I allowed myself to be curious and have fun. I also never imagined I would be on a radio show. Thanks to my friends who are music majors, I am able to air my very own podcast.

What will you miss the most?

I will miss all of my professors who I have to thank for my growth and knowledge.

Advice for the Class of 2025?

There is no such thing as failure. Find what you love and you stick with it. Be curious and have fun learning new things. Lastly, self care is the most important care.

"When I think of words to describe Anne, these come to mind first: kind, intelligent, prone to unexpected laughter. (Really – there's always a smile on her face.) But there's much more to Anne, as any of her professors and friends will tell you. She works very hard. That's because she never avoids a challenge or makes excuses for herself. When she sees a problem, she doesn't complain. She goes into action mode! We will miss her in the cello studio, the music department and the entire campus. Anne's contributions and loving kindness will be felt for years to come."

– Dr. Janina Ehrlich, professor, music