My name is Thomas Deaton, and I’ll be your H4 Counselor this fall! I was a camper in 2015 and a counselor in 2016 & 2017, so I’m beyond excited to participate in the program my fourth and final time alongside you and the class of 2022.
I’m a senior English major and Environmental Studies & Sustainability minor from Elizabethtown, Kentucky, and I chose the Mahurin Honors College because I felt welcome and involved from my first visit. There is a new connection to be made around every corner, and everyone is thrilled to see you succeed.
Getting involved is one of my biggest tokens of college advice. Every university is what you make it, and this is especially true here at WKU, where I’ve jumped head first into campus life and loved every minute of it. I’m a member of a fraternity, I work at the Mahurin Honors College as a student assistant, and I serve as a WKU Spirit Master, an official University student ambassador. During the fall 2016 semester, I studied abroad with Semester at Sea, taking my classes (literally) around the globe and even working as a student assistant for the Communications Team and performing in a student-produced musical (something I certainly never thought I’d do)— all while visiting 14 countries along the way in Europe, Africa, and South America.
Just before H4 starts, I will be returning from my current summer internship in Washington, D.C., at the US State Department with the Office of the Major Events and Conferences Staff. We help function in support of major multi-lateral summits, peace talks, and events at the ministerial level or above as a key interface with the Secretary of State’s Office, the Office of the Chief of Protocol, the White House, and relevant policy bureaus. I direct every bit of inspiration for this internship to the Mahurin Honors College and to my roommate, whom I first met my freshman year in Minton Hall. Without hearing of the opportunity through these outlets—and without the help of several Honors and WKU staff as mentors along the way—this priceless experience wouldn’t be a reality!
My favorite college memory is as a Spirit Master working the investiture ceremony for WKU President Tim Caboni this past spring semester. The ceremony stage was constructed in front of DSU with a perfect view of the Guthrie Bell Tower and surrounded by freshly-green cherry trees (a WKU springtime staple), and the pomp and circumstance of such an important ceremony hadn’t been conducted in nearly twenty years. As a side note: if you need any motivation to stick it out through this first fall semester, remember you’ve yet to see the cherry trees in full bloom!
I look forward to meeting you at H4 and can’t express how excited I am for you to experience college with us all here at the Mahurin Honors College this fall!
See you soon,
Thomas I. Deaton (’19)
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