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Alumni Spotlight - The Dugan Twins

by Sarah Dalbey

Have you ever wondered what happens to CLA graduates? Today, we're checking in on Gracie and Maggie Dugan, 2022 graduates who are current students at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

I had the privilege of having these young women in my first year at CLA, and I will never forget the memories that were made with the excellent class of 2022. You can't find two more intelligent, hard working women. In the short time I had them, their work ethic and dedication to quality results sold me on Classical Christian Education. They served as my stage managers for the musical, "Godspell," which is not an easy task. Anyone that has ever had to work in that capacity knows that it's much like herding cats, but instead of cats, it's a cast of 30 of your teenage peers. These young women not only accomplished everything I asked of them, but they anticipated things that I hadn't even realized I needed. They were clearly ready for the world upon their high school graduation.

Having now completed their first year of college, we wanted to check in and see how their first year went. They sent a comprehensive list of some of their biggest moments!

  • They tried to attend as many sports events as they could - they watched hockey, baseball, football, and basketball (not to mention being in attendance at the legendary game where the field goal came crashing down in celebration)

  • They travelled by themselves! They went to Disney World on their own and Maggie ran in the Disney 10k and 5k. This required them to get up at three in the morning for a race that started at five. (Gracie made it clear that she was not happy about this!) After the race, they got to hang out at the different theme parks where they had a ton of fun.

  • Another trip they took on their own with Ally Skiera in tow was to Utah to go skiing.

  • Gracie learned how to cook (she added 'kind of'). There was an eventful lesson with a lasagna, so I've heard, but she now tries to make dinner every night at their apartment in Knoxville.

  • They were adventurous and tried new clubs! They joined the Spikeball and Skii clubs. They mentioned that the Spikeball club was on a whole other level. Maggie joined the Tennessee Running Club, which is the Junior Varsity team for the UT Cross Country Team and also 16th in the nation.

  • They gave a college tour to complete strangers! (How about those Salve Salve Sis greetings now?)

  • Maggie ran a half-marathon in downtown Knoxville.

  • They tried a variety of different college courses - Art History, Advertising, "Tourism and Hospitality," and even Sociology (which they found very boring).

  • Their daily ritual was to meet up with Ally Skiera to play Mario Party. (We hope to present more from Ally and her first year in a future post!)

Gracie's favorite memory was when Maggie hosted the Cross Country Team Banquet and she crushed everyone in Wii Mario Kart. They couldn't handle 'Rainbow Road.'

Maggie's favorite memory was when the Cross Country Team went to regionals. As soon as they learned they were going to nationals, the whole team started singing "Rocky Top."

Have they had an amazing year? Absolutely. You want students who can competently survive on their own in an ever changing world and become whoever they want to be? I'm here to tell you that you can get there from here. No matter what it is you hope your child will accomplish, Classical Christian Education will prepare them to meet the unknowns the world will throw at them. Both Gracie and Maggie make CLA proud, and we can't wait to see what their future will unfold!

Congratulations, ladies, on the successful completion of your first year in college!

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