Brianna Sluder

How did you decide to attend Benedictine College?


Well, I was active in campus ministry in high school and part of a vibrant parish—so, of course, I had heard about Benedictine.  It has a great reputation.  Initially, I didn’t want to go to school so far from home (787 miles, 12 hours).   But when my parents and I drove onto campus, we were like, “Wow.  This place is incredible.  This is it.”  Everything about Benedictine impressed me; the campus is beautiful, the people are incredibly friendly, and after interacting with the professors, I knew I’d get a first-rate education.”


What do you like most about Benedictine College?


In addition to the great education, I really feel like I’ve made a family here.  Like I said, I’m so far from home, but people here are so nice.  The professors don’t just do their jobs and then go home—they care about you.  They spend time with you.


You are a Gregorian Fellow.  Tell us about that.


When I visited campus for Presidential Scholar’s Competition in February, I got a brochure promoting the Gregorian Fellows Program—it is one of Benedictine’s Programs of Distinction that offers unique academic and leadership opportunities.  I applied and was accepted into the program and it has been great.

Among other things, we participate in seminars on all sorts of topics.  We have “Fellow Forums” with different faculty members.  Those are round table discussions on anything from Abraham Lincoln’s speeches to the works of Shakespeare.  My favorite forum was with Dr. Madden in the philosophy department.  He encouraged us to become real Catholic intellectuals.  He told us, “don’t settle for comfortable answers or say ‘oh that’s true because someone told me it’s true.’”  He encouraged us to ask hard questions and try to understand why we believe what we believe.”


What was the topic of your Gregorian application essay?


From my freshman to junior year of high school, I helped raise more than $10,000 to air pro-life commercials in New Mexico.  That was a big undertaking and very time-consuming, but well worth it.  We just helped raise the money to air the commercials.  Virtue Media produced them.  I wrote about that experience.