On Wednesday, October 9th, Jackie Gingrich Cushman paid a visit to Presbyterian College where she was able to talk to a few classes, have lunch with several students, and was a guest speaker for a large number of people that night. She is most commonly known as Newt Gingrich’s daughter, but she carries more titles than that. Mrs. Cushman is a nationally recognized columnist, an author of two books, a wife, a mother to two children, and also a PC alumna. After graduating from Presbyterian College, she received an MBA degree from Georgia State University. Currently she resides in Atlanta, Georgia with her family.
My first impression of Mrs. Cushman was that she is very relatable. Even though she is in the media’s spotlight, she is still one of us. She understands what being in the PC bubble means. Her very first question that she asked the students at lunch was, “Are y’all in a sorority or a fraternity?” which caught some of them off guard. Many of the students thought they were here to get to know Jackie Gingrich Cushman, not for her to get to know us. She said that when she was a student at PC, that they did not have sororities on campus yet. I concluded that Mrs. Cush would have joined a sorority according to her Lilly Pulitzer iPhone case, often associated with southern, political women. In addition, she told us that during her college days, she was a “Sigma Nu Little Sister,” but she ended up marrying a Pi Kappa Alpha.
Mrs. Cushman also talked to us about how her classes were when she attended Presbyterian College. She graduated cum lade as a Business Administration: Accounting major. Back then, if a student made the Dean’s List then they had limitless skips in a class. How cool is that! Mrs. Cushman said that that was a huge motivation for her to push herself to do well in every subject.
Jackie Gingrich Cushman said that PC is a special place and that really means something. For someone like her who has traveled so many places campaigning with her father and has seen so many things and for her to say that Presbyterian is like no other is very profound. Think about it, Clinton is one of the smallest towns in all of South Carolina, but Mrs. Cushman is still drawn back to the college. She said to, “Enjoy the time that you have here. Slow down and think deeply.” Since her first career was in finance, she understands how important it is for students to have an educational foundation from a liberal arts school so that they will be able to comprehend many subject areas.
In addition, it was neat to see how close Mrs. Cushman still is with her major advisor. She made sure to visit him during her day spent at PC. The relationship we have here with our professors really is a lasting one. Jackie Gingrich Cushman said that the strongest friendships you will ever make are from the relationships you build during your college career. That statement is very encouraging to the senior class who are about to graduate and be apart from these close friends; it should give them hope for the future.
Overall, Mrs. Cushman is an extremely positive and optimistic speaker that really hopes that every single student is able to let their differences shine at Presbyterian College. She truly wishes that this liberal arts school would allow us all to flourish and make a positive difference within society in the future.