Five questions with the Metropolitan Campus Pinnacle recipient: Greih Wilson-McClain
By Kenna Caprio
May 5, 2017 — She’s singing the national anthem and delivering a speech at Commencement 2017. It’s a double honor for Greih Wilson-McClain, the Metropolitan Campus Pinnacle recipient. “I give 110% to everything I set my mind to. I’ve gotten very, very involved on campus. I can go to pretty much every office on campus and I’ll know someone. That’s a nice way to leave,” says Wilson-McClain, of Danbury, Conn., who graduates with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a minor in global and cultural studies.
FDU: What was a positive surprise about coming to FDU?
I really didn’t know how much this campus would influence me. There were so many ways to improve myself, and so many unconventional ways to grow.
One example is that I grew out of being shy and feeling intimidated. People only found out that I sing this past year. I was never formally trained, so I tended to shy away from singing in front of big crowds. However, for my rehire application to be a resident assistant (RA), I chose to sing. From that they asked me to sing at the RA banquet. I was nervous but honored, so I accepted. Since then, I have been asked to sing at two doctoral hooding ceremonies, the provost’s town hall meeting, and now Commencement! That’s so positive. I was pushed, but in a way that I didn’t know I was being pushed, and it has opened up so many doors for me.
I was also surprised that FDU helped me with my relationship skills. Being a student leader on campus is not easy, but I have learned to work with people from different cultures and with different values. I was able to develop genuine relationships with people whom I previously would not have approached.
FDU: How has FDU made a lasting impression on you?
No matter what day it is, no matter the weather, no matter if something happy or sad has happened, I can always find someone on campus to tell me a joke, give me professional advice or believe in me and push me. Those are the three things that I look forward to coming back to. It’s not always the same people, but it’s always the same atmosphere.
FDU also made me realize that there are endless opportunities out there. I traveled to six countries without much in my pocket. I have been asked to sing at events that I used to only dream about. I took on leadership positions and have been a part of clubs and organizations that defied expectations.
FDU: What will you remember most from college?
The impact that people left on me, and the impact that I left on others — from my sisters, my mentors, my friends to the people I mentored. Because of them I have grown into a stronger, more professional, and more confident and empowered version of myself.
I’ll also remember the campus atmosphere. I found a support group — they make me laugh instead of cry, help me believe in myself and grow in my professionalism.
FDU: What were some of your academic goals? How did you achieve them?
I simply wanted to excel. That was my parents’ hope. I made sure I did the things that would make them proud. I’ve been on the Honor’s List for three semesters, with a GPA above a 3.5, and the Dean’s List for four semesters, with a GPA above a 3.2. That’s what both of my moms wanted for me, so I made sure I did it.
I’ve proved that academics come first for me, despite all of my extracurriculars. I worked hard and didn’t let anything else that was happening affect my academics.
FDU: What are you most excited for after graduation?
I’ve given all of myself to everything: my schoolwork, relationships and organizations. I’m not used to just sitting and breathing, but I’m excited for it. I’ll be back [next year] to finish my MBA, but I’ll have free time and will finally be able to just breathe.
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