Suzanne Beecher - Intercollegiate Studies Institute: Think. Live Free.

Suzanne Beecher

BAYLOR UNIVERSITY, Class of 2016

Things to know about Suzanne

Suzanne is the second of seven children and grew up outside of Chicago. She is currently a senior at Baylor University, and is majoring in Business Fellows and Economics and minoring in Political Science. She is interested in both domestic and international issues of religious freedom. After graduation she hopes to attend law school after and to work in the law and policy side of religious freedom issues. In her spare time, Suzanne enjoys spending time with family and friends, and reading everything from Aristotle to Jane Austen.

“The people, both the professors and the students, whom I have met through ISI are incredible.”

How did you find out about ISI?

A friend of mine had attended ISI’s summer honors program; she came back with rave reviews and encouraged me to apply. Her description of how ISI brings together a group of students and professors in a casual environment to discuss important ideas drew me in, and I am so glad that it did.

What was the highlight of your undergraduate experience?

A group of friends and I came together to form a group called Convivium, a Friday night gathering with a favorite professor to discuss ideas over dinner with a large group of our friends. It is a really fun and different way to learn from and grow closer to our professors and friends as we have meaningful conversations and challenge our understandings of crucial issues. I hope it continues after we graduate and will be part of our legacy.

What have you valued most about ISI?

The people, both the professors and the students, whom I have met through ISI are incredible. It is exceptional to get to spend such a concentrated amount of time with people I regard so highly.

How have you spent your summers while in college?

Every summer, my family spends the month of June at my grandpa’s cottage in upstate New York. It is one of the highlights of my year, as it helps us to reconnect as a family in a very intentional way, and focus on what is really important in life without all of the distractions of technology, etc. I have tried to prioritize this, especially now that I live away from home. During the rest of the summer I have done internships and participated in a variety of academic summer programs and conferences on things from religious freedom to economic policy.

Whom do you admire most, and why?

Of the people personally I know, I think I admire my parents most. Not only are they hard workers, but they dedicate their whole lives to serving us and our community. They are a constant reminder to me of the importance of other-centered leadership. St. John Paul II is another role model. His kindness and personal touch, despite all the responsibility he held, reminds me that we can change the world without sacrificing strong relationships with God and others.

What advice would you give to other students who want to preserve the principles of liberty?

One of the most important things we can do if we want to make a difference is to make an effort to show kindness to everyone we interact with, because people will be attracted by people who respect and show interest in them. Additionally, stay informed about current events, join a group like ISI so you can be better equipped to participate in lively discussions on the most important things, and spend the summer reading great books, and polishing your non-course-related skills. I think engaging people with whom we disagree bolsters our understanding of the importance of liberty, and broadens our horizons by considering other perspectives.