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Where are you from?

Salem, Ohio.

Where do you currently live?

In Burton, Ohio.

3 words to describe yourself?

Loyal, disciplined and with humor.

What is the most interesting thing about you?

I didn't take the traditional path to Hiram. I completed my high school through vocational education. After a few years of working in the field of my vocation I realized this wasn't something I wanted to spend my life doing. I entered the United State Air Force and soon realized that my high school education wasn't adequate, and I needed to reeducate myself in the basics; reading writing, and arithmetic. Upon completing my military obligation, I was able to get a job where my employer offered college tuition assistance. This led me to Hiram which allowed me to fulfill a goal I set for myself during my early years in the Air Force.

How did you find Hiram?

I am the first in my family to attend college.  In high school you could say I didn’t have the grades or desire to attend college.  Rather I opted to finish high school by going through the vocational program.  After graduating I worked in auto body for a couple years before realizing that wasn’t for me.  This led me to the United States Air Force for 4 years where I was able to broaden my horizon and become more disciplined.  A few years after getting out of the USAF I landed a job at the Perry Nuclear Power Plant working for

CEI.  Somewhere through all these years I had a goal that I would like to go to college.  This became possible as CEI offered financial assistance.  At the time I was living in Mantua and heard about the weekend program at Hiram.  I guess Hiram College kind of found me and I

feel that without the weekend program I would not have obtained my goal.  The rest is history.  Still find it hard to believe I accomplished my goal as my son was born during my second quarter at Hiram and I was working 50-hour workweeks at Perry.  A lot of credit has to be given to my wife by filling the gap I left by being either at work, class, or at the library doing studies.

What clubs were you involved in?

I attended the Weekend College which didn't provide an opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities and clubs.

Your favorite Hiram traditions?

My Hiram traditions started long after leaving Hiram.  This tradition is our involvement in the Family Friendly Program.  It is exciting to experience Hiram again through our students.  It is amazing to watch them come in as wide-eyed freshman and to see that in only a few short years, they leave with a confidence they didn’t have that first year.  It really gives me hope for our future and the positive impact Hiram College students will have in their communities and in society in general all over the world.

Favorite professor?

I had the opportunity to take a class with William McKinley. By the time I had this class he was a legend at Hiram and had retired but would teach on occasion. It was a special time to spend Saturday mornings in Bonney Castle as he guided us through the Bible as poetry.

What is your favorite location on campus?

Just sitting outside on a warm spring or fall day. These were rare moments that I treasured as the demands of classes, work, and family left little time to just sit and enjoy some quiet time.

What is your favorite Hiram memory?

No doubt like many other students, graduation is my favorite memory. Graduation was the attainment of a goal set many years earlier.

What is the most important thing that you learned from Hiram?

Much was learned. I worked full-time while attending Hiram on the weekends and was adjusting to being a father. I often wonder how I managed, but I did.

Do you feel that Hiram prepared you for your future?

Without a doubt—attending Hiram instilled in me a confidence that I did not have.  I also learned critical thinking from my Hiram education.

My first employment was as a paperboy when I was ten years old.  There is no doubt that Hiram College opened opportunities in my career that I would not have had without it.  This has been evident as I progressed and grew in my job and professionally over the thirty-four years I have been with what is now called FirstEnergy.

What is your current employment? Retired? What are you doing now?

I currently work at FirstEnergy as a Cellular and Print Service Coordinator since 2002.

What do you enjoy in your spare time?

I like keeping busy giving back through community involvement. For example, I am pleased to still be connected to Hiram College through the Friendly Family Program and Hiram Alumni Executive Board.

I do like to be involved in the community, which is one of the reasons I joined the AEB.  I have been on the township Board of Zoning Appeals for twenty years and am involved in the Geauga Highlanders Pipes & Drums as the band manager.  Additionally, I have been on many boards and committees at church.

What brought you back to reconnect with the AEB?

I saw the AEB as a way to not only reconnect with Hiram and to bring a view to the board from the view of a nontraditional student prospective.

We reconnected through the College’s Family Friendly Program.  We actually started before the program began when the college reached out, looking for volunteers to invite international students to our family’s Thanksgiving since they were stranded on campus. We are proud that we have become family to many students from all over the world.  Through this program, it has provided me with insight into Hiram College that I did not see or experience as a nontraditional student.

Anything else you would like to share?

I would like to share a quote from a 2018 Hiram graduate that says it all: "To think such a small school could bring me such a long way." Stephane Nouafo Class of 2018.


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