A Future Taylor Student Begins Her Experience With CRAM

By Jim Garringer Published: Aug 03, 2012

The Crist Family

Katy Crist always wanted to go to Taylor. In fact, she grew up in a Taylor family – both parents and other family members graduated from Taylor. But until this month, Katy’s Taylor experiences were limited to trips to campus with her parents and the occasional stop at Ivanhoe’s.
All of that changed with CRAM. CRAM is Taylor’s summer honors conference – a three-week experience that gives high school students a taste of college life. During CRAM, high school students live in the Taylor residence halls, eat their meals at the Dining Commons, take classes from Taylor professors that earn them college credit, and participate in evening excursions to off-campus locations.

Following In Her Parent's Footsteps

Katy’s parents, Richard and Jackie, both 1990 Taylor grads, had their own CRAM experiences. “It was called Summer Honors Program in 1985,” Richard says. “My older sister had gone here so I knew a little bit about Taylor, but it gave me an opportunity to learn more about Taylor, experience the campus, get to know some of the professors and get my first exposure to what college life was like. It was a great experience.”
Katy, a senior at nearby Central High School in Muncie, expressed similar sentiments. “I’ve always wanted to come to Taylor – I haven’t wanted to go anywhere else. So CRAM was a good opportunity for me to come and experience what the classes would be like and get a feel or all of that.”

A Day In The Life Of A CRAM Student
A typical day for Katy was Foundations of Christian Thought at 8:00 a.m. and then participation in a United Nations simulation – her team represented the nation of Jordan. Then it was lunch at noon followed by more class then free time until dinner. In the evenings she took part in Fifth Act, a group Bible study, and then had an open schedule for the rest of the evening.
The fun experiences included movie nights and a trip to a nearby water park. Being it was her first time away from home, Katy admitted there were some concerns going in. “I missed my parents, but at the same time there was so much going on here that i didn’t really have time to miss anyone, just because I was having so much fun,” she says.
The students also traveled to Indianapolis to perform service work for Jireh Sports, an outreach to children that uses sports and special events to minister to local schoolchildren.
“I was excited for her,” says Jackie. “I knew we would miss her, but we knew she was going to have such an awesome time. It was such a wonderful experience for me to be here, I just had a feeling it would be the same for her, and she would just meet new people and have some great experiences. I was so excited for her that it made it really easy for us to leave her here.”

I've Always Loved Taylor
“I think for her getting to come and experience college life, CRAM was a great warm up to that,” Richard explains. “And I think it was good for us too because we knew it wasn’t permanent. Maybe it will take the edge off of it for when we come and drop her off here next year.
“It is an advantage that we are close and she has been around the campus and to ball games and different things. But this was different,” Richard continues. “This was moving from being on the outside and she actually got in and got a sense of what it meant to be a student here. We could tell just from talking to her briefly that she bonded with other people.”
“I didn’t know what to expect,” Katy says. “But CRAM went above and beyond my expectations. I honestly loved every second of it. I’m sad that it is over.
“I’ve always loved Taylor from the outside looking in, but now that I’ve gotten to know it at a deeper level, I am in love with it,” she adds. “I can’t wait to come. I just love everything about it.”

For more information about CRAM, Taylor University's Summer Honors Program for High School Students, please contact Laura Armstrong, CRAM Recruiter, at lrarmstrong@taylor.edu or 800.882.3456.