What does success mean?
“I think it means living life to the fullest, but not in the way some people understand that phrase,” says Tiffin native Kory Wise.
“For me, it’s doing what you were meant to do and doing it to the best of your ability.”
As a double major in religion and English, Kory engaged in a genuine liberal arts experience at Heidelberg. He chose his majors not because they fit in a linear career path, but because he was engaged with the subject matter.
“Studying religion helps me understand other people,” he says. “And I've always liked writing, and English is applicable to anything.”
The strength of a liberal arts approach is learning to think critically and communicate effectively, which supports lifelong learning and the ability to succeed in a variety of fields. For Kory, it was also in the combination of multiple disciplines. He was studying world religions, literature theory, and American novels at the same time, and he was able to make connections between subjects.
“It was like doors I didn’t even know were closed opened in my mind,” he says. “The liberal arts give us a different way of understanding the world because it exposes the interconnectedness of our experiences.”
That interconnectedness appeared again and again for Kory during his time at Heidelberg, even more so with his experience in the Life of the Mind Honors Program.
“The honors program adds an extra layer to your education,” he says. “It’s a subset of the campus community, and I developed unique relationships with people I might not have met otherwise.”
In three years at Heidelberg, Kory completed two majors and the honors program, which meant he also completed three capstone projects. For religion he studied the origins of the Catholic Mass, for English he wrote a short story that combined political fiction and science fiction, and for honors he combined his interests in a project titled Ideological State Apparatuses in Dystopian Novels.
“I’ve always been motivated to do my best,” Kory says. “The honors program provided me with a lot of unique experiences in the classroom.”
Kory is still exploring his career options. He has applied to seminary, which he believes would be a good stepping stone into pursuing a priesthood, teaching, or some other ministry.
“I’m interested in molding the next generation of people,” he says. “I like engaging with people.”
One of his more memorable moments at Heidelberg was the inaugural E-Day event with Rho Eta Delta. An alum and Rho, Matt Karlovec '10, had been diagnosed with encephalitis, a rare disease caused by inflammation of the brain. It was important to him to raise awareness of the disease and the Rhos responded. The event consisted of a Q&A panel, keynote speaker, and 5k fundraiser. Kory helped organize and run the event.
“I think when I look back in five to ten years at my experience, that will be something I’m glad I did,” he says. “I was happy to help make his dream a reality.”
In addition to Rho Eta Delta, Kory was involved with the Newman Club, Singing Collegians, and theatre productions.
“It was important for me to be involved as a commuter,” Kory says. “It let me reach out and make connections with friends.”
During his time at Heidelberg, Kory made connections with people, found a support system, and took pleasure in seeking knowledge and expanding his mind.
By his own definition, he’s already found success.