The Youngest Member of the Class of 2024 will Receive a Bachelor’s Degree for her Birthday 

Posted Apr 24, 2024

While every graduate in the Class of 2024 has a reason to celebrate on Commencement Day, this year’s youngest graduate has an extra reason: 19-year-old Becca Morrison, a psychology major from Fairview Park, OH, will also be celebrating her 20th birthday. 

Morrison’s path has taken her from being a typical high school student to receiving a bachelor’s degree as a “pretty cool birthday present,” with a lot of hard work along the way. 

“My educational journey has been such an amazing adventure for me. Like many high school students, I took part in my high school’s College Credit Plus (CCP) program and took classes at Cuyahoga Community College. I started my CCP journey early enough that I was able to obtain my associate of arts degree before I graduated from my high school. So, at 17 years old, I got my first college diploma,” she said. 

She entered Otterbein as a junior and her two years here have been nothing short of extraordinary. “I took this opportunity and ran with it and have had such an amazing experience doing so,” she said. “I am a member of the Cardinal Pep Band, OtterPaws, Psi Chi Psychology Honor Society, and Alpha Lambda Delta/Phi Eta Sigma Honor Societies. I am also the lead peer mentor for our First Year Experience program, a resident assistant for Clements Hall, and the co-leader for Otterbein’s interfaith group.” 

Somewhere in the middle of all of her activities, Morrison had time to excel at her studies, graduating cum laude in psychology. 

“Psychology has always interested me. The study of the mind and the study of people and their actions is something I could never quite wrap my head around, so I figured majoring in psychology would give me more opportunities to learn about these things,” she said. “After a few years of learning, talking about, and researching more about what I didn’t know, I have more of a passion for people than I ever had before. This major has truly allowed me to grow more and expand my knowledge on the world around me.” 

Morrison has already been accepted to continue her studies at Kent State University this fall to pursue her master’s degree in higher education administration and student affairs. She will also be serving as a graduate assistant and resident director at the University of Mount Union. 

“My dream career goal is to be working with students at a college. Whether I’m a dean, a vice president, or even the president of a college, I know I want to be able to have a deep connection with students to make a difference in their lives,” she said.  

“I have had such amazing, life changing, and eye-opening experiences at Otterbein, but I wouldn’t have had these experiences without the amazing faculty and staff, and I want to be a part of that experience for future students,” she added. 

Morrison thanked one particular faculty member for making her Otterbein experience more meaningful. “There have been so many people who have impacted my time here at Otterbein, but Dr. Meredith Frey holds a special place in my heart. Dr. Frey has been my advisor throughout my time here and has never been anything less than amazing. She not only helped me navigate my academic journey, but also helped me find my way through life as a growing individual. I have taken many of Dr. Frey’s classes, was a teaching assistant for one of her courses, and even got to serve as one of her research assistants. She has always been there for me, supporting me through the good and bad. Words cannot even begin to describe how grateful I am for all that she has done for me. As I dive into the world of higher education, I hope to be the person that Dr. Frey was to me.” 

Morrison also made a lasting impression on the faculty and staff at Otterbein, who nominated her to read the benediction at the commencement ceremony. It will be one more experience that makes Otterbein memorable for her.  

“There are so many things I’m going to miss about Otterbein, but I will definitely miss one thing the most: the familial feel. Otterbein is home for me. My friends, professors, supervisors, and really everyone I have encountered at Otterbein has become family to me. Never did I think I would make connections as deep as the ones I have made here, it has truly been a fantastic experience.” 

In addressing her classmates, Morrison said, “There are so many things I could say to my classmates in the Class of 2024, but I mostly just want to say thank you. Thank you for taking me in and treating me like family, thank you for the endless support, and thank you for all of the love I have received. I will never encounter another place like Otterbein, and I am so grateful that I was lucky enough to be a part of this community.” 

Congratulations to Becca Morrison and all the members of the Class of 2024!