A singer, a resident assistant, and an engineering major, Homecoming Court member Graham Zimmerman knew that he was bound to walk the campus of Penn State as soon as he stepped foot onto Beaver Stadium.
“I was raised as a Penn Stater from the minute I came to a football game,” Zimmerman (senior-mechanical engineering) said. “My parents are also alumni, so I kind of grew up with it.”
A Harrisburg native, Zimmerman said that he knew Happy Valley was the right place for him from his first steps onto the campus.
“I was a junior in high school when I first visited, and I was just like, ‘wow,’” Zimmerman said. “I couldn’t really explain it. I thought the downtown area was just perfect, and I’ve always wanted a big college.”
Zimmerman said that the highlight of his Penn State career was singing for the university with his a cappella group, Blue in the Face, when the community needed it most.
“Last November I sang at the [candlelight] vigil, with my a cappella group, Blue in the Face. We sang ‘Fix You’ [by Coldplay] and the Penn State Alma Mater,” Zimmerman said. “Just being up there, representing the student body and being able to sing for all of our students, along with the fact that they picked us for that, was incredible.”
Zimmerman also said that he looked at Penn State in a different way after participating in the vigil.
“I'll never forget the candles and the lights, or how loud the WE ARE chants were,” Zimmerman said. “It felt like they were bouncing off of Mount Nittany.”
Zimmerman's main contributions to the Penn State community are vast, and range form musical groups, to academic related clubs, to even working at the Berkey Creamery, as he has done for four years.
Besides being heavily involved in musical related activities, Zimmerman is also involved in some activities here at Penn State that may not necessarily be expected –– including the audio engineering club.
“It's a little different, but I enjoy the nerdy side of myself,” Zimmerman said. “I'm obsessed with speakers.”
However, Zimmerman said that his greatest impact on the Penn State community has been his active involvement as a resident assistant, currently in Hamilton Hall in the West residence area.
“I feel like being an RA has really connected me to this community. I’ve had so many kids come up to me and thank me for all I’ve done, but I feel like I haven't done enough,” Zimmerman said. “It’s nice to not be the president of the class and still have a huge effect on the community and see other kids become RAs.”
It is Zimmerman's dedication to his commitments, simple and prestigious, that make him a role model in the eyes of other students.
“Graham defines Penn State in my eyes. He simply just ensiles a great power and meaning in what it means to be a Penn State student, whether that be him working at the creamery, or with his resident assistant position,” Zimmerman’s friend Patrick Ritsko (senior-energy business and finance) said. “He loves students here and is a student leader all around on this campus.”
After graduation, Zimmerman said that he hopes to work for a large corporation as a mechanical engineer, and eventually to obtain his professional engineering certificate.
“I love being on homecoming court with hope you can still be an average Joe and still have an effect on the community,” Zimmerman said.
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