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It's All About Relationships

Jessie Hurst grew up visiting Wesleyan’s campus with her mother Theresa “Terri” Castruccio Hurst ’90. The two started volunteering for WOW! A Day events when Jessie was in fourth grade. Welcome to Wesleyan Weekends (WWW) and STUNT were annual events and Jessie enjoyed sharing the picnic-style dinners served on Saturdays during Alumnae Weekends with Terri and her Wesleyan sisters. Terri said, “Jessie loved bringing her friends with her to stay in Jones Hall (during WWW) and getting a peek into college life. When she declared at age ten that she was going to go to Wesleyan, I fully expected her to change her mind, but about two years ago I realized that she probably wasn’t going to change her mind. We visited campus several times so she could attend preview days and sit in on classes, and with every visit I watched her get more comfortable on campus in the context of being a student as opposed to an occasional visitor.”

Terri’s family moved to Georgia when her father was transferred to Warner Robins Air Force Base. Her parents planned to relocate to Colorado after retirement, so Terri had no plans to stay in Georgia. In the spring of her senior year of high school, she visited a college fair with one of her friends who was interested in Wesleyan. “I was not at all interested in staying in Middle Georgia for college, nor attending a women’s college, but a Wesleyan admission counselor invited me to attend scholarship weekend and the rest is history. I fell in love with the campus and the learning environment, and the scholarship (Presidential) made it hard to say no.”

As a student, Terri was fortunate to have friends whose parents welcomed her into their homes for weekends and breaks, so she didn’t go home to Colorado except for Christmas and summer breaks. She says small classes made it easy to develop and nurture relationships with her peers and her professors who fostered an environment of accountability, which helped her develop independence. Living in a dorm with young women from different backgrounds allowed her to see things from other perspectives. She developed bonds with women who she says are still like sisters thirty years later and who Jessie has known all her life. Jessie said, “I love the College’s dedication to tradition. Attending Wesleyan isn’t only about getting an education – it’s about the experience. I get to be a part of all she (Terri) loved about it. Some of her college friends are like aunts to me. I’m just excited to be a part of the Wesleyan world.”

Two of Jessie’s best friends from high school will be experiencing Wesleyan along with her. Tabyn, whose stepmother is Laura Meyer McAvoy ’96, started at Wesleyan last fall and is now a sophomore, and Izzy, who has been Jessie’s friend since elementary school. Jessie was awarded a Dean’s Scholarship and plans to study psychology and theatre. Terri hopes Jessie will find the confidence that comes from being in an environment that demands excellence and nurtures creative thinking. “An army of Sister-Friends who will encourage her to be the best version of herself that she can possibly be. It’s all about relationships. Relationships with her fellow Wesleyannes, but also with her professors, connections made through internships and community activities, and travel opportunities.”



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