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Class of 2009 Grad 'Ready for Next Step'

Sequoyah Healy-Louer '09 makes history as one of first men to graduate from coed Randolph

6/8/2009 10:31:15 AM


Sequoyah Healy-Louer '09

During 2008 Convocation, Sequoyah Healy-Louer ’09 was slightly nervous. Somewhat new to the College’s traditions — and one of only two men in the Class of 2009 — he donned the traditional black graduation robe in preparation for what is a long-standing tradition. Seniors use the official ceremony starting the new academic year to wear their robes for the first time. They adorn the robes with buttons collected over their time at the college and top the often unconventional outfits with funny hats, scarves and other creative accessories.

“I didn’t have many buttons, since I hadn’t been here very long,” said Sequoyah, who transferred in when the college became coeducational. “But I took an interesting towel my mom had given me and cut a strip from it and wore a baseball hat. I was a little nervous being the only guy there, and I felt a little awkward. But it was nice, and I’m glad it went smoothly.”

For Sequoyah, the college’s traditions were an interesting way to acclimate himself to campus, and to his fellow classmates.

“It was really cool doing things like Tacky Party, Pumpkin Parade, and Ring Week,” he said, adding that he even attempted to make a “puffy paint t-shirt.”

“That turned out really horrible,” he said with a laugh.

A political science major, Sequoyah decided to transfer to Randolph after receiving his associate degree from a junior college in California and after talking with several childhood friends who were students. “They figured if the college had to admit men, they wanted the men to be people they knew.”

Originally from Western Virginia, Sequoyah had been searching for a school closer to home. Randolph fit the bill with its excellent academics and the new soccer team for men.

“When I visited the campus, I loved it, and the school was really beautiful,” he said. “Plus starting something new was interesting to me.”

That’s not to say the transition to coeducation was perfect. But Sequoyah was prepared. “My mom knew the college was going from a women’s college to a coed college, and she warned me that it might be tough at first.”

But as he prepared to receive his diploma from the college in May 2009, Sequoyah was grateful for the experiences he’d had behind the Red Brick Wall. Sequoyah is not the first man to graduate from the college. Seven men graduated during the 60's and 70's from the college when it was Randolph-Macon Woman's College. More than 30 men graduated with master's degrees after participating in a special program in the 60's and 70's for teachers. Sequoyah and another student, John Baga were, however, the first two men to receive diplomas since the college went coed in 2007 and changed its name to Randolph College.

Academically, Sequoyah knows he’s prepared for anything. After an internship with Legacy International, Sequoyah hopes to pursue environmental or human rights law.

“I’ve learned a lot since I’ve been here,” he said. “I felt like there was a standard I had to set and maintain, and obviously people were watching me. That was extra incentive to do things the right way. I definitely feel like I learned to relate better to women and learned to communicate better with them.

“Every emotion I’m feeling as I graduate is summed up by the word bittersweet,” he added. “I’m glad to get my diploma, but I’ll miss the college, the friends I’ve made, and my professors. But it’s great, and I’m ready for the next step.”

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CONTACT: Brenda Edson, Director of College Relations