Denae McGaha- Why PLU

Hello future Lute!

Hello future Lute! My name is Denae McGaha and I’m a first year Communications major here at Pacific Lutheran University. I’m getting sad to think that this school year is almost at the end, but I’m glad to know that I’ll never forget the beginning!


One of my fondest memories of PLU was the first week of school (known as Orientation Weekend) where we got to do all sorts of get-to-know-PLU activities, one of which was the On the Road trip. I opted for hiking. Little did I know that I would end up summiting on a mountain in Mount Rainier National Park! I literally started college on top of the world!

That trip got me so excited to start the school year! After all, I had just climbed a mountain! I had been given the ability to conquer one of the most often used metaphors for adversity. The school year could bring it! And it did bring a lot of things.

It really reaffirmed all the reasons I had chosen PLU. Even from the start of the school year, PLU had that friendly atmosphere I had experienced on all of my visits. I’m very relationship-oriented, and PLU has an environment that encourages growing relationships. And I’ve been able to meet some great friends, from the blessed buddy who stayed up until 1 with me to study for midterms, to the fantastic girl who’s going to be my roommate next year, friends have really helped make this experience.

Aside from personable students, I also discovered the friendly faculty—especially those in academic advising. They are there for you when you enter college thinking you’re going to major in political science, take a political science course, and then realize you have no idea what you want to major in. I do believe they have tissues in their office. But those very kind and very patient people helped me guide me to a Communications major—one I am completely stoked to pursue (especially while studying away in London next spring)!

And life outside of the classroom did not disappoint either. This year I got to go to my first big concert in Seattle, learn a whole bunch in great Bible studies, start writing for the school newspaper, and discover new skills in the open-audition Dance Ensemble.

Made by Samsung DVCMy beautiful picture

And that’s a great thing about college: discovery. I have definitely discovered new things like ultimate Frisbee culture, a love for Mexican food (check out Reyna’s on Garfield Street!), the Puyallup Fair, and a passion for baseball! And you’ll get to have exploratory experiences like those too!

There are countless other things that I could include about my first year here at PLU. But long story short, if I had to sum up my whole first year at PLU in one word, it would be this: right.

Happy spring Lutes!

Denae McGaha


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