Andrew Corley is a history and religion double major from Laurens, South Carolina. He is the President of Bands at PC—playing in the Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, and Pep Band. Also, Andrew is the co-editor of the Blue Stocking (campus newspaper), member of Phi Alpha Theta (history honor society), a Stirling (student ambassador), Hose Leader, and active member of Campus Outreach. As a junior, he won the Jane Klatt Scholarship for outstanding promise for ordained Christian ministry.
While at PC, Andrew studied Chinese and traveled to China. He was a part of the Chinese Scholars Program which gave him the opportunity to spend five weeks in the Chinese provinces of Yunan and Guizhou.
Why did you choose to come to PC and what made you interested in majoring in History?
As I was searching for colleges, PC was incredibly low on my radar. Both my dad and uncle went here and I was ready to break the family tradition and head to USC. However, as my 12th grade year went on, PC would not let me ignore it. I was constantly receiving more information and invitations to visit, and finally I broke down and came to campus. I sat in on one of Dr. Heiser’s classes and was immediately impressed by the obvious relationship he had with his students, something I did not see during my visits to other institutions. I also met with the Music Department and learned how many opportunities were available to me here, even as a non-major. It was obvious to me that everyone I met cared about the students here and was interested in me as a person, not simply as another potential student. In the face of all of that, how could I not end up here?
I felt throughout high school that I wanted to major in history and my experience with the History Department at PC only confirmed that. I had Dr. Heiser for World Civilizations and Dr. Nelson for my Freshman Seminar and together they convinced me that the History Department was the right place for me. They were both so passionate about their subjects that I knew the department would provide me with the opportunity to pursue a subject I loved with people who were also driven by their passion for the past.
How would you describe your experience in PC’s History Department
My experience with the History Department has been amazing. The professors are so passionate about their subjects that even areas of history in which I am not all that interested become fascinating over the course of the semester. More importantly, they are equally passionate about their students. From Dr. Campbell taking time out of class to listen to students’ opinions about the state of the college to chatting with Dr. Nelson about SEC football, it is obvious that the Department’s interest in its students goes well beyond the classrooms. My professors have taken the time to get to know me, to learn about my interests and goals and have supported me throughout my entire college career, and for that I am incredibly grateful.
What advice would you give to students considering coming to PC and majoring in history?
I would say go for it, but be ready to work hard for your degree. Studying history is not simply a matter of memorizing dates and names; the professors expect you to analyze events and understand their significance in the broader scheme of things. There is going to be a great deal of reading and writing, but for the most part the reading is relevant and interesting and the professors are always there to help. The positive aspects of majoring in history: the community atmosphere of the department, the support you’ll receive from the faculty and your peers, etc., definitely outweigh the work involved.