Dean's OfficeMS-C1913College of Liberal ArtsHamline University1536 Hewitt AvenueSaint Paul, MN 55104651-523-2206
John Matachek, Dean651firstname.lastname@example.org
Although Natalie grew up in a Hamline family, with mother, Kimberlee Klaus Self '79 (left) and grandfather, Dick Klaus '50 (right) both proud Hamline graduates, Natalie didn't think she'd ever end up at Hamline.
“Hamline was never on my list, mainly because I was too independent,” Natalie said. “I wanted to do something different from the rest of my family.”
After touring Macalester on a trip with her father, Natalie realized she liked the area. “There was something about the Twin Cities that I’d forgotten about… I associated it with my grandparents being here, and looking at it not in that context made me reevaluate it.”
When Natalie told her mom about the trip, Kimberlee encouraged her to just apply. Excited by Hamline’s social justice major and progressive financial aid (Natalie earned a full tuition Presidential Scholarship), it was the personal attention that “ultimately clinched it” for Natalie.
“I couldn’t be happier with Hamline” said Natalie.
Natalie served as an SOS (Students Orientating Students) leader, a LEAD team member (helping organize student orientation), on the Student Alumni Board, and as a tour guide and blog writer for Undergraduate Admission. She has been active in Multicultural and International Student Affairs (MISA) and Commitment to Community, was Homecoming Queen, and acted in the main stage production, Never the Sinner. As a first-year she helped start WTF?! (Where’s the Fun?!), a student organization that plans campus activities, “out of a desire not to spend our weekends wasted,” Natalie said.
Although her social justice major (with a concentration in Black American studies) was a natural choice, the English major she added was surprise.
“I’ve always hated English!” Natalie said. After trying to get out of the required first-year writing course, Natalie randomly chose Mike Reynolds’s class. “I walked out of that class an English major. The approach was so different, not ‘Let’s read Huck Finn!’ but how marginalized people use texts to express and work through that oppression,” she said.
In addition to an internship at Jewish Community Action, where Natalie worked with the director of development on grant writing and “catch-all development work,” Natalie also completed an internship with the New York Regional Association of Grantmakers.
Does Natalie have any regrets about choosing Hamline and following in the family’s legacy?
“I’m really glad I went here. I love seeing my grandpa at alumni events. When he has a meeting on campus, he’ll send me an email and come by and give me a hug.”
“We’ve all found things that we’re passionate about at Hamline,” Natalie said. “Family is so important to us. I can’t decide if we appreciate Hamline because it brought us together, or whether it’s special because it’s part of a connection that we’re all a part of.”
by Breanne Hanson Hegg MANM '04
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