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The Morgan PawPrint

The Student News Site of The Morgan School

The Morgan PawPrint

The Student News Site of The Morgan School

The Morgan PawPrint

Alumni Spotlight: Iris Dunham

College Freshman Reflects on Morgan and College
Iris Dunham
Iris Dunham
Iris Dunham and Family at Marist Event (Iris Dunham)

Iris Dunham, a 2023 graduate, was a tri-sport athlete, scholar, and multi-club participant. Well-known around Morgan for her positive attitude and her kindness towards everyone, many were sad to see her graduate. World Language Department Head and Spanish Language Teacher Señora Laura Luther said Iris “was and is a phenomenal person and student. Very diligent, always on top of things, awesome class participator, and is just fabulous.” Iris was part of Student Government for two years, the Interact Club her freshman and sophomore year, and a part of Morgan Mentoring for four years. Throughout her time at Morgan, she participated in lacrosse and cross country, serving as cross country captain junior and senior years.

At the end of Iris’ senior year, she hosted and organized Your Mind Matters. This was a walk-a-thon held in the spring to raise money for mental health awareness, for the JED Foundation. The JED Foundation is an organization that works to protect mental health and prevent suicide in teens and young adults. When Iris came to Señora Luther about the idea, Señora was immediately on board. Señora Luther mentioned how Iris “approached me after a student government meeting and told me what I was thinking about and I was like “I’m in what do you need me to do how can I help you” and it just took off from there.”

At the event, over 120 participants joined on the track and raised over $5,000 for the foundation. Iris’s sister, Junior Cora Dunham commented on the Your Mind Matters Event. She said that “seeing it [Your Mind Matters] all come together and seeing what she [Iris] could do by herself and with Señora Luther, it kinda made me feel proud I’ll admit.” Iris hopes in the future that Morgan will host another Your Mind Matters Event. Iris added that “there are so many ways to improve it. It’s such an important topic that I think even a different variation of it would be a good

Iris Dunham and friends at Your Mind Matters 2023 (Iris Dunham)

addition to make it an annual thing.” Iris said that in the future at the college she attends, she hopes she can continue this event. “I think as time goes on, more people will get to know me, and I will be able to organize something like that.”
Iris currently attends Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. Marist consists of 5,000 undergraduate students and about 1,500 graduate students. When Iris first got to Marist in the fall, she was very nervous. Moving in “was the hardest thing about coming to college. The first semester was really hard to adjust to.”

Iris said as she started to settle in at Marist in her second semester, “I’m having the best time, and I don’t want to leave. It just takes time to adjust, and I think other people take time to adjust.” Having the transition from living at home and going to school, to living on campus is a big adjustment for some. One big change for Iris was the amount of free time that came with college: “Make sure you find things to fill your time that you like to do and use your time wisely.” Iris chooses to spend her time between classes going to the gym, going for walks, or getting coffee with her friends. Without those activities, Iris said, “days are long and boring.”

At Marist, she majors in communications with a concentration in journalism and public relations. While she adds that there is a lot more outside work to do, “it’s ten times more interesting because it’s stuff I want to learn. My major does not have as much work, so I am lucky in that aspect.” Her class sizes have been easy to adjust to since they are about the same size as her classes were here at Morgan. At Marist, the average class size is about fifteen students.

When asked about Marist, she had nothing but positive comments. She said that Marist is “the most perfect size ever. It’s not too small where you know everyone, but not so big where everyone is a mystery.” She does recommend that if students want a school focused on sports, then attending a larger school would be the better option. Iris stated that if she hadn’t chosen Marist, her difficult first semester would have made her drop out. Because she was at Marist, Iris said that it made it better. Marist is “such a good school, great environment, location, and people.”

Iris Dunham with Friends (Iris Dunham)

As Iris is heading home from her first year at college, she wanted to give the incoming college freshmen some advice. She said that new college students should step out of their comfort zones: “Don’t be picky at the beginning of the year. Don’t look for people you would be friends with in high school. Let everybody be your friend in the beginning.” During your first few weeks there, Iris recommends to “go to all of the activities and events they provide at the beginning of the year.” When she recalled her first few weeks, she said, “Literally two of my best friends I met at an assembly because we sat next to each other randomly.” Iris said that she struggled with it because she felt like everyone had it together while she was still adjusting to school. She said to “find your people but don’t compare yourself to them. Everybody is in a different place and is experiencing different things so everyone is going to adjust differently.”


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About the Contributor
Sara Stack
Sara Stack, Reporter/ Bulletin Board Manager
Hi! My name is Sara Stack, and I am a senior here at the Morgan School. This is my first year joining the PawPrint. I am excited to be a part of the staff this semester and to create videos and articles for the paper. I can’t wait to step out of my comfort zone to write articles about things that interest me in and out of school!

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