As the oldest child in my family, the whole college thing is a new experience for my parents and I. I’ve looked at a few small private colleges around the Midwest including Briar Cliff University, Mount Marty College, Creighton University, and a few others. However, my heart has always gravitated towards Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas.
The first thing that I noticed when I visited the first time (about a year ago) is how insanely beautiful Benedictine’s campus is. The campus is tucked away behind the city part of Atchison and the Missouri River. Once you find it though, it’s breathtaking. There are so many trees and green space dispersed in between the red brick buildings that make up the college. One of the most popular spaces on campus (according to every tour guide I had) is the grotto. Lou Holtz, the famous retired Notre Dame football coach, made the donation to Benedictine in order to have one. He said that every good Catholic College should have a grotto, where students and faculty can have some quiet time in prayer or meditation.
There are many new facilities at Benedictine that have improved the campus even more. A new fitness center, an expansion of the science building, and new dorms have recently been constructed. It is a smaller campus compared to many state schools and universities, but I believe it’s big enough to still give students the resources they need to succeed. Along with these new additions, the campus has two churches and a few chapels, many options for housing and dining, and of course tons of options for academics.
Benedictine has about 2,000 students enrolled total, so the atmosphere is very homey and people kept mentioning how everyone knows everyone. This can be an important aspect for an incoming freshman that will be making the high school to college transition. As soon as you step on campus, you feel so welcomed and wanted. Benedictine also has many traditions that make their school unique when compared to others. This is also comforting in my search because in the traditions aspect, it can be easily compared to Mercy. There are also many impromptu events that happen on campus; when we were there today, two camels were brought to campus for students to interact with and many students didn’t even know it was happening until it did.
Overall I’d recommend Benedictine College (in the most unbiased way possible) because of their campus quality, the atmosphere, academic achievement, and faith. If you are a high school student looking for a Catholic college with a small campus, feels-like-family atmosphere, and a variety of academic programs, I’d recommend checking out Benedictine College!
(Photographs from www.benedictinephotos.com)