Danielle Newbern

Lessons learned from athletics

Softball player Danielle Newbern says being a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at LaGrange has been a blessing.

"It's a chance to be with other people who are going through the same things I am," she says. "But it's not just for student-athletes – it's for everyone. We have people who used to play sports and those who haven't played sports at all, but we are all there for each other."

Danielle says spiritual life is very important to the student-athlete.

"It provides support to be more sportsmanlike, to be gracious in winning and losing. I've learned to be a better athlete all around – and also that athletics aren't everything."

A lot of people put all of their stock in sports, and that isn't realistic, she says.

"You may not be an athlete all of your life. But you can take aspects of sports – endurance, having a good attitude, supporting and encouraging others – and apply them to every part of your life. I've learned that through FCA."

The sophomore from Gainesville, Ga., says softball helped lead her to LaGrange.

"The assistant softball coach at my high school is Kristi Underwood, who graduated from LaGrange. She told me the college would be a great fit for me, with a good softball team and a coach I'd love."

Danielle initially was concerned about having the financial means to attend college, but she participated in the Presidential Scholar competition and was awarded a full-ride scholarship.

"What a gift that was," she says. "After that, I was sure I wanted to go here – a good school, good academics, good sports and a nice atmosphere. Everything I wanted."

Although she came into college wanting to study early childhood education and be a teacher like her mother, her academic path took a little twist.

"I was in Dr. William Yin's pre-calculus class, and he saw how well I did. He encouraged me to become a math major, telling me that there are all kinds of things I can do with it."

After mulling over her choices, Danielle decided to take Dr. Yin's advice.

"If I still want to be a teacher, I can," she says. "But if I decide to go into a different field, a math major will make that possible for me, too."

A close relationship with professors is important to Danielle.

"That was one of the main reasons I wanted to go to a smaller college. I knew I wouldn't get the attention I needed at a bigger school. I love that I can go to any of my professors, even if I don't have them for a class, and they're always there to help me."

She also appreciates the support she gets to expand her horizons.

"The math department really encourages its students to get involved in undergraduate research. I'm looking at the Research Experiences for Undergraduate program. It is held during the summer at different colleges around the country. They'll pay you to do research and to go to workshops and even get published at the end of it. What a great opportunity that would be for me."

Friends for the Journey

LaGrange College attracts the best and the brightest from all over the world. For example, our most recent incoming class consisted of men and women from 19 states and 10 countries, and included:

  • 76 members of Beta Club or the National Honor Society
  • 71 members of service organizations
  • 51 team captains in varsity sports
  • 25 leaders involved in student government, with 11 presidents
  • Three students involved in school publications, one as editor
  • Two Eagle Scouts
  • 20 musicians in band or orchestra
  • 18 singers in choir
  • 31 entertainers in performing arts
  • 85 students in religious activities.

But you don’t have to be a star in high school to succeed at LaGrange. Here, you’re given the opportunity to discover the best in yourself and find your destiny – all in a caring and supportive environment.