If you attended the Homecoming 2012 game, then chances are you saw Mack Parnell (or at least heard him). He was the tall guy with the booming voice, waiving around a large white megaphone while leading a cheer about Shorter’s “little blue wagon.” It’s quite possible that he has more school spirit in his pinky finger than five Shorter University students combined. He’s a perfect fit as Shorter’s student government president, and it just so happens that Shorter University is a perfect fit for Mack.
But Mack is more than just a college student; he’s a Hawk, just like you, and he has an interesting story to tell. Reflecting on his involvement as a peer tutor to a heart-breaking medical set back during his sophomore year, Mack took time to sit down and share a little bit about himself, how he found Shorter, and his outlook on the future.
Q: How did you find out about Shorter?
A: I found out about Shorter at Super Wow the summer after my eighth grade year. They had just gotten a football team, and they gave me a t-shirt. I thought I was cool-- a high school kid with a college t-shirt. I kept up with Shorter for a couple years and then a Shorter representative visited my school. I talked with them and contacted coaches. I found out I could play football and got an academic scholarship.
Q: What has Shorter meant to you?
A: Shorter is a place of encouragement and positive growth. I have been blessed to be so involved and see Shorter grow. I’ve been proud to say I go to Shorter because people will know I have been held to Shorter’s high standards and will succeed. I know the faculty and staff are there for me. They know my name. They’re always inviting and I have great relationships with them and their families.
Q: How are you involved on campus?
A: Student Government Association President, Shorter Orientation Staff, Resident Assistant, Epsilon Sigma Sweetheart, Peer Tutor. I serve on the Homecoming committee, Student Athlete Committee. I am the former chairman of the College Republicans. I am a proud member of the Blue Crew, I support the Hawks in as many sporting events as possible, and help to plan the themes for each game.
Q: How specifically do you serve Shorter as SGA president?
A: I listen to the students’ ideas about Shorter and try to make them a reality. I serve on various committees and help plan events like Homecoming and the Miss Shorter Pageant.
Q: In your opinion, what makes Shorter stand out among other colleges? You have faced some adversity as a student, how did the Shorter community aid in your recovery?
A: When I got to Shorter, as a freshman, I played football. Going into my sophomore year, over the summer I developed back issues that weren’t related to football. The issues progressed to the point where I had to lay down on the ground during class because it was too painful to sit at a desk. It got to the point where I had to have surgery and medically withdraw from school. Throughout the entire time I was away from school I was in contact with my professors. The faculty and staff were great. They would always ask if they could help me do anything, and they would tell me they were praying for me. They were there for me. When I came back in the spring, everyone asked how I had been. They were willing to help me if I had any further issues. I now have certain physical limitations. I’m not able to lift heavy things, and everyone is always willing to help me in everything I do. The love and compassion I was shown by the faculty and staff is what sets Shorter apart.
Mack Parnell leads the crowd in the "little blue wagon" cheer at the 2012 Homecoming football game.
Q: What is your hope/vision for the future of Shorter?
A: I hope to see Shorter continue to grow in in its efforts to improve spiritually, academically, and athletically.
Q: What role do you think Shorter will play in your life after you graduate?
A: I will be able to take my experience at Shorter and apply it all my future endeavors. I will always be a fan of Shorter whether I’m on the Hill or over the hill.
Q: How has your faith helped you through your college experience?
A: I’ve had personal plans that have changed because of what I have gone through physically but take comfort in in the verse in Jeremiah that says ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ I know that God is watching out for me. No matter what happens, He will be there.
Q: How have the professors helped you in your spiritual growth?
A: If I ever need anyone to talk to or encouragement, I go talk to my professors. They are always there for me. Tests have also greatly increased my prayer life.
High rankings, strong enrollment
Shorter University is again ranked as one of the best colleges in the Southeast, according to nationally known education services company, The Princeton Review. Shorter is one of 136 institutions The Princeton Review included in its recently released “Best in the Southeast” section of its website feature, “2013 Best Colleges: Region by Region.” The Princeton Review announcement came as the fall semester was entering full swing at Shorter University. Classes began Thursday, Aug. 16, and 1,528 traditional students are currently enrolled at Shorter. This is the third consecutive year that Shorter’s fall enrollment has topped 1,500.
We’re military friendly
For the second consecutive year, Shorter University has been named to the Military Friendly Schools list compiled by Victory Media. Victory Media is the premier media entity for military personnel transitioning into civilian life. The 2013 Military Friendly Schools list honors the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus.
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