Strange situation led senior to Simpson

by Caleb Geer, Staff Reporter

Despite living only 30 minutes away from campus, Tatum Clayburn knew nothing about Simpson College. Little did she know that her next step would be so close to home.

Clayburn found out about the college right before going out on stage for a play that she was the lead of. She received a call from the college and was frustrated, but answered. The man on the other end immediately started talking to her about what she qualified for in a financial package. Clayburn distinctly remembers asking if the man could send her the information over email instead. 

“That night, my mom and I talked about it and I called Simpson the next morning and set up a visit,” Clayburn said. 

The rest, as they say, is history.

Clayburn acknowledged that she did have thoughts about dropping out or transferring before making it all the way to her senior year. However, the people she met along the journey made it all worthwhile.

 “I met people here that I cannot think of a time without them, it’s absolutely insane,” Clayburn said. 

This spring, Clayburn will graduate with a major in political science, along with minors in both religion and women’s and gender studies.

 “It’s crazy, I came in as a theatre major,” Clayburn said. 

She said that it was the people she crossed paths with that inspired her to take the path she has taken. Among others, she cites big influences in the form of both the Chair of the Religion department Maeve Callan and Associate Dean of Students Rich Ramos.

The Org Suite, located on the upper floor of Kent, is what Clayburn would call her favorite location on campus. She still remembers earlier on in her college experience where students would hang out in the room and socialize. Many of her friendships began in that room.

Clayburn’s favorite memory of her time on campus was last year’s Black Lives Matter protest.

“In my three years at Simpson at that point in time, I had never felt that seen, heard and protected and respected in my entire life,” Clayburn said.

Clayburn said that she felt that the level of unity that day on campus was unmatched. 

“That moment will never leave me,” Clayburn said.

Clayburn has not only enjoyed her time on campus but has also put it to use by being involved all around campus. She has held positions in Active Minds, Student Government Association (SGA), the Campus Activities Board (CAB), Simpson PRIDE, Simpson College Democrats and Black Student Union (BSU). Not to mention, she is also the co-leader of the newly created campus coven. 

After graduation, Clayburn said that she wants to live life without worry. 

“I want to be happy, and I would ideally like to have a stable job somewhere not in Iowa,” she said.

 Catching back up on living life is something she continues to look forward to after the last two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Clayburn wants to encourage underclassmen to get involved. 

“College is more about the connections and experiences you make rather than what you learn,” Clayburn said. 

Clayburn’s advice to underclassmen is to be active on campus and take time to live life. Reading books that you enjoy and listening to new music are things she wishes we would all do more of.

“Enjoy college. I didn’t get to enjoy college and I regret it so much. I was so busy I did not get to live my life and I regret it,” said Clayburn.