The first time he stepped foot on campus, Josh Cooley ’12 felt as though he had come home. “The people, the view, and the atmosphere had me hooked,” he recalls. Cooley came to Plymouth State in 2009 as a transfer student from Great Bay Community College. He quickly immersed himself in academics and in campus life, joining ALSO/PSU Pride, becoming a Diversity Fellow, working as a sign language tutor in the PASS Office, singing with Vocal Order, a student a capella group, and serving as a student orientation leader. Cooley found himself striving daily to live up to the University’s motto Ut prosim (That I may serve).
When Hurricane Irene hit Plymouth and the surrounding communities in 2011, Cooley helped staff an emergency shelter in the Hartman Union Building. He recalls, “My most rewarding moment out of that experience was when a mother of three came up to me and gave me a hug and simply said, ‘Thank you.’ I will never forget her face and the sincerity in her voice. I knew then that I had made a real difference in someone’s life, and that I had officially been able to say that I, along with the emergency personnel and other orientation leaders, had lived our motto. Plymouth State University has changed my life with experiences just like this.”