Degree: B.A. in Psychology
Graduation Date: May 2017
High School/Hometown: Willingboro High School/Willingboro, NJ
Clubs/Activities: Black Student Union (president), WILD Peer Advisory Board, Mercy Collegiate Society, Habitat for Humanity, Agape Latte Student Board
Psychology major Terlayra Tate had visited other colleges and found them to be “overwhelming,” with lecture halls built for 100 or more. Ultimately, the small class sizes and campus at GCU won her over—as well as her generous financial aid awards. She enjoys the one-on-one attention from her professors, which has made her feel like a person, rather than a number. She also had the opportunity to get to truly know and network with her classmates.
Her faith is something that grew at GCU, too.
“I’ve learned things about Christianity you can only learn in a classroom,” says Terlayra, adding that she had the chance to explore and compare other religions, which enabled her to grow in her own religion, while still respecting the beliefs of others.
“My overall student career here has been incredible. In my opinion, I received so much more than my other friends at other universities. I have traveled abroad with President Marbach; how many students can say they spent a week with their school’s president or worked with the Sisters of Mercy? There is a greater sense of family when you attend Georgian Court.”
Terlayra, who has a work-study job in the Office of Mission Integration, has supplemented her studies with service and spirituality. She’s the president of the Black Student Union, a Peer Advisory Board member for WILD (Women in Leadership Development), and a member of the Agape Latte Student Board. She’s also involved with Habitat for Humanity and the Mercy Collegiate Society, which led her overseas to Guyana and Ireland. In Guyana, she and other GCU students worked with the Sisters of Mercy to help the poor, the sick, orphans, and the elderly.
In Dublin, Ireland, Terlayra and five other GCU students joined participants from Ireland, England, Australia, and seven American Mercy schools for the Pilgrimage of Young Mercy Leaders at the Mercy International Centre. There, they learned to engage the history and charism of Mercy, and “learned how to be a better Mercy leader by following in the footsteps of Catherine McAuley,” says Terlayra.
“Terlayra reached far beyond what she thought was ever possible when she volunteered to go to Guyana to experience Mercy in its fullest,” says Evelyn Quinn, M.S.W., M.Ed., ’74, vice president for mission integration. “She learned early on that taking a risk, saying ‘yes’ to opportunities, and taking on leadership roles helped her find her passion and prepared her for her journey after graduation.”
Story contributed by Heidi V. Chaya ’17, who will graduate in December 2017 with a B.A. in English and a concentration in writing.