Not Just a Number: Musical Theatre Major Zyon Ross on Why WPU

September 29, 2020

One year in and Zyon Ross has firmly found his home at William Peace University.

The Musical Theatre major from Lincolnton, North Carolina, said that’s one of the best parts about WPU: there is always a place with your name on it.

“There are a million places out there and a thousand places to go to,” Zyon said. “You can search for it or wait for it to find you, but you will see yourself and your future here at WPU.”

He said he found it during his very first week, when a group of students in the Musical Theatre department came together to meet and ended up singing songs from the musical “Rent” and holding hands.

“I admit I didn’t know all the words,” he said, laughing. “We were singing our hearts out to each other, and I thought, this is something I’ll remember my whole life.”

Zyon chose WPU not only for that close-knit community but also for the internship requirement. He said incorporating real-life experience into his education is what sold him, and his mom, on him becoming a Pacer.

“I want to have something before I graduate,” he said. “I want to use my education as a chance to take things even further. The internship will give me the experience I need.”

But the people he’s met and worked with have been the best part of his experience. From his bosses and coworkers at the Career Design Center to the people he met during Pathways that have become lifelong friends, he feels he belongs.

“The thing about WPU is it’s very diverse,” Zyon said. “Even though we may not know where you come from or where you have been, we want to know and understand.”

“No matter what color, what race you are, you can share your story here. And we will love you for who you are.”

Zyon said he’s seen that most clearly through his work at the Career Design Center, where Jenna Hartwell and others have helped expand his horizons through career development, guided him through projects and provided inspirational support.

“The thing about WPU is it is a small community but in a big city, so there are all these people on campus that know so many people and offer so many connections for you,” he said.

“And they are always willing to help you.”