Countdown to Commencement: Claire Meneer

May 5, 2014

As the campus community prepares for commencement May 10-11, the Office of Marketing & Communication Services is featuring a series of articles about the Class of 2014 as they prepare to become Heidelberg graduates and alumni. We hope you enjoy the “Countdown to Commencement.”

Clare MeneerFor graduating senior Claire Meneer, absence certainly did make her heart grow fonder. After an internship in the political arena near her Cleveland home the spring semester of her sophomore year at Heidelberg, Claire decided to transfer to a larger state school.

“I had become really closely connected to the Heidelberg community. I don’t think I realized I was going to be sacrificing that,” she said. “I literally had to start over. I had worked so hard to make those connections (at Heidelberg).”

Her absence lasted just one semester before Claire returned to Heidelberg to make her mark. “I was very happy to be back,” she said. “I appreciate everything I have her so much more. I’m lucky to have gotten to experience all I have.”

Several of those experiences stand out as Claire gets ready to graduate Sunday. One was the Alternative Spring Break trip to the Back Bay Mission in Biloxi, Miss. There, she and other Heidelberg students worked with homeless veterans to help them get the services they need.

That trip, combined with a second internship with U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and her love of politics, instilled by her parents at an early age, are leading Claire toward law school. Following graduation, she’s planning to move to Washington, D.C. – a favorite family vacation destination.

“My parents just wanted us to give back and be active citizens and not apathetic, like you see so many young people. They wanted us to explore and find our own interests.”

Opportunities at Heidelberg allowed Claire to follow her heart and helped solidify her passions and career goals. Ultimately, she hopes “to advocate for people who are not able to defend themselves.” The political science major would eventually like to work with veterans.

“I love our country. I’m very politically minded and very fascinated with government. That would be the perfect way to combine all of my interests.”

During her time at Heidelberg, Claire worked three campus jobs and was highly involved, not only in her academics, but in a number of student organizations.

“I chose to get really involved,” she said. “Heidelberg allowed me that flexibility. This is so much better for a college experience. … I covered all of my bases here.”