These are Today's Pioneers

Athletes. Musicians. Leaders. Locals and those who come from half a world away. The students who benefit from your support are poised to change the world, and are getting the skills and knowledge they need to do so right here in Marietta.

Over the course of the 2018-2019 academic year, five current students are inviting you to share their journey. Read on to learn more about them, and their hopes for the coming year. Click here to make a gift to support them and the nearly 1,200 other students whose lives have been changed thanks to The Marietta Fund.

Alumni Ambassador Sadie Johnson '21

Sadie Johnson '21

Music Therapy

Hometown: Bloomington, Indiana

Extracurricular activities: CMENC Vice President (Colligate Music Educators National Conference), Mu Psi Kappa Music Honorary President, Admissions Student Ambassador, Writing/Music Tutor, gigging musician, worship leader at First United Methodist Church Williamstown, WV

Favorite place on campus: My bed!

Favorite place to get away: When I’m overwhelmed I tend to just get more involved, but I’d have to say Star of India always is a great getaway.

What do you wish more people knew about Marietta College? The faculty and staff will literally do anything for their students. This college prides itself in the connection between students and faculty/staff. I would have never been able to succeed as much as I have here in a larger school. I can truly say that these professors and administrators are unlike any others I have come across.

How do you feel about being an Ambassador? I am incredibly excited to be an ambassador for Marietta College. I can’t wait to get to know more of our Marietta alums and to help spread the word about the amazing direction Marietta is moving in.

Click here to follow Sadie's story.

Alumni Ambassador Caleb Riggleman '19

Caleb Riggleman '19

Petroleum Engineering

Hometown: Beverly, West Virginia

Extracurricular activities: Football and work study jobs

Favorite place on campus: Don Drumm Stadium

Favorite place to get away: Wayne National Forest

What do you wish more people knew about Marietta College? How friendly the environment is. It has been a much more home-like feeling than I expected, and the atmosphere has changed to one of growth, hope and expectation during my time here.

How do you feel about being an Ambassador? I'm looking forward to making connections and sharing my Marietta experiences, and I'm especially excited to share my story with the alumni who came before me.

Click here to follow Caleb's story.

Alumni Ambassador Coco Shao '19

Coco Shao '19

Math / Music / Economics

Hometown: Beijing, China

Extracurricular activities: Symphonic band, wind ensemble, Pio Pep band, Floodstage, women’s choir

Favorite place on campus: Band hall

Favorite place to get away: Near the river

What do you wish more people knew about Marietta College? People in Marietta truly care about the people around them, and are always willing to help you when you need it.

How do you feel about being an Ambassador? It's my honor to share my life at MC, and I hope to show everyone all the advantages of being at Marietta today.

Click here to follow Coco's story.

Alumni Ambassador Mel Shuler '19

Mel Shuler '19


Hometown: Columbus, Ohio

Extracurricular activities: Basketball, 5th Street Consulting, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, Student Ambassador

Favorite place on campus: Ban Johnson Arena

Favorite place to get away: Home

What do you wish more people knew about Marietta College? There is so much Marietta has to offer. Just in my time here we’ve had new coaches, updates to the DBRC, and additions to the buildings. But the best change has been the new president. He's changed this campus’ culture.  

How do you feel about being an Ambassador? I'm excited to make connections, promote Marietta College, and share my story.

Click here to follow Mel's story.

Alumni Ambassador Emily Toppin '19

Emily Toppin '19

International Leadership / Psychology

Hometown: Stow, Ohio

Extracurricular activities: Pioneer Activities Council, Peer Coach in the Communication Resource Center, Coordinator for HOME (Welcome Week), EXCEL Leader for the McDonough Leadership Program

Favorite place on campus: The Library. I love how it can be a quiet study space or a place to chat with friends. I get a lot of work done there and also see different people who I can catch up with.

Favorite place to get away: I usually go to Whit’s to get ice cream or go for a walk along the river. I love the city of Marietta and the river is so relaxing.

What do you wish more people knew about Marietta College? I wish people knew more about the amazing opportunities this College has for personal development. Because we are a small school, students have a lot of individual attention and this allows them to develop and grow personally. At large schools, students do not get the opportunity to have multiple leadership positions or participate in research as freshmen, but here we get a chance to do all of those things.

How do you feel about being an Ambassador? I am very excited to have the opportunity to share all of my experiences. Marietta College has made me into the person I am today, and I could not be more excited to share this with other people both within and outside of the College.

Click here to follow Emily's story.