When Rheagan Wessels arrived at Emmanuel College, she did so with a plan in place. A Kinesiology major, Rheagan was recruited to play Tennis for the Lions. When this did not work out, she thought seriously about transferring however a professor at Emmanuel spoke into her heart, convincing her to stay.
“I remember him telling me that God had a purpose for me here,” she said.
And boy, did he. Now a senior Business Administration major, Rheagan looks back on her time at Emmanuel with fondness, knowing that God has used this time in her life to mold her into the person and leader he wants her to be.
For Rheagan, the people at Emmanuel are what sets the school apart from any other.
“Each person truly takes time to invest in you,” she said. “As a student, you will find certain people here that if they see potential in you, they want to pursue that and see that you’re living it out to the best of your ability and making sure that you’re ready for the real world.”
For her, those people were Athletic Director, Nate Moorman and Associate Athletic Director for Compliance, Bridget Allen.
“Nate was my professor for Freshman Seminar,” she remembered. “I think he saw the drive and leadership abilities in me and made a point to stay on top of me, making sure I was getting plugged in on campus. He and Bridget have been nothing but supportive and they continue to motivate and push me because they know what I’m capable of, even if I don’t see it yet.”
Rheagan took Nate’s advice to heart and got plugged into campus activities, right off the bat.
Currently, she serves as Miss Emmanuel, the president of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, VP for FCA, is a member of the Student Senate, as a member of the Women’s Lacrosse team, and serves as a Chaplin, and a Resident Assistant.
In all of her roles, Rheagan makes a point to invest in the lives of younger students.
“I’ve had so many people at Emmanuel invest in me,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity for me to do the same for younger students and push them out of their comfort zones so they can one day be able to do the same thing for others.”
By getting plugged in on campus, Rheagan believes she gained leadership skills that will prepare her for life after Emmanuel.
“If you don’t get plugged in while in college, it can be hard to know how to be a leader when asked to,” she said. “Going through leadership training as I did with ELI (Emmanuel Leadership Initiative), I was able to find out what kind of leader I was. I learned how important it is to have emotion behind everything you do. You’re not just doing something because it’s a part of your title, but because you love it and care about each person involved in the decisions you’re making.”
One thing Rheagan has noticed at Emmanuel is that each person is driven by their faith.
“The goal of the faculty and staff members here is to pour into the lives of the students here,” she said. “That’s the heart behind the things they do, it’s strictly faith-driven. It’s so rewarding when everyone around you is praying for you and pushing you.”
In her opinion, the name of the college, Emmanuel, meaning God with Us, is a perfect fit.
“I can’t help but smile because I’m surrounded by people who love the Lord and are pursuing him fiercely,” she said. “It’s amazing to see it in the classroom, on campus, in chapel, and at sporting events. Everyone at Emmanuel is driven by the same thing.”
Upon her arrival to Emmanuel, Rheagan’s plans changed drastically, but confirmation from a professor that God had a purpose for her here, gave her an overwhelming sense of peace and reminded her to leave the planning in God’s hands.
“If I make a plan for myself, it takes it out of God’s control and I don’t want that,” she said. “What I want for myself, he can do 10x’s more and I’d rather have that then some mediocre plan I have for myself.”