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Valedictorian Shares Perspective

Zachary Baldwin ’14 is one of this year’s valedictorians. An art history major from Longwood, Florida, Baldwin enjoyed “The Culture and Chemistry of Crime” course with Dr. Emily Russell and Dr. Laurel Goj. For that course, the class read classic murder mysteries and even acted out their own murder mysteries. He has enjoyed participating in various college ministries, such as the United Campus Ministries and InterVarsity. He also served on the executive board of JUMP. Baldwin loved participating in work-study at the Office of Community Engagement, where he also had several internships.

Baldwin plans to take a gap year before continuing his education with graduate school. “I have a passion for higher education and want to continue working with college students.” He would also love to have a voiceover role in an animated feature—hopefully Disney or Spongebob.

For his free time, Baldwin says, “I really enjoy fencing [the sport], reading, and cooking, though I generally do these separately.” He also enjoys R&B and hip-hop, and his favorite holiday is Free Slurpee Day.

Baldwin’s advice to students at Rollins is to truly engage in courses. “While at Rollins, you’ll be exposed to a lot of new perspectives on just about every subject imaginable. Your professors will challenge your tightly held notions and your peers will offer counter positions to your own, which is awesome! Enjoy the benefits of a liberal arts education.” He also cautions students to form their own opinions, without simply accepting views because they are presented in a class. “Don’t be a sponge. Don’t simply take on a view because it was said by a professor or found in a textbook. Ask questions and pose counterarguments. Education at a liberal arts institute shouldn’t operate through a trickle-down effect, but through active discourse between students, staff, and faculty.”

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