For sisters Angie and Sarah Noah, the beginning of their college careers started with a purple pen.
Sarah, then a high school student in Saginaw, Mich., was in a physics class when she needed a writing utensil. A friend of hers gave her a pen that said "Goshen College" on it. Since Sarah was in the midst of exploring options for college, her interest was piqued.
"I asked her what Goshen was and she said ‘it’s just a small Mennonite college. Nothing you would really care about,’" Sarah said.
Sarah admitted that growing up Lutheran, she was unfamiliar with the Mennonite faith until she began attending a school in a predominantly Mennonite area.
"I hadn’t even heard of Mennonites until my sophomore year of high school," she said.
After graduation, Sarah attended a small community college for a semester before taking some time off to explore some different options for the rest of her life. After a year working third shift at a Sam’s Club, she began looking at schools online when she remembered that little purple pen.
"A week later I was visiting the GC campus and had convinced my sister to make the trip with me," Sarah said.
Meanwhile, Angie had also taken some time off of school to earn some money before going back. She was doing some community theater and had spent some time in St. Louis before giving Goshen a look.
"I knew that I wanted to be a theater major and she was ready to go back to school," Angie said.
During their visit to the campus, they both interviewed with theater director Doug Caskey and felt a connection they hadn’t felt at other schools.
"He told us that with smaller class sizes there would be a lot of hands-on opportunities, which we both liked," Sarah said.