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Securing America’s Future:

The Power of Liberal Arts Education

Steven Yeun

Actor, The Walking Dead
Kalamazoo College (MI), Class of 2005
Steven Yeun stars as “Glenn Rhee” on AMC’s The Walking Dead.

Yeun was born in Seoul, South Korea and then, as a child, moved with his family to Troy, Michigan where he grew up. He entered Kalamazoo College thinking that he would study psychology, but switched to acting upon seeing a campus improv troupe perform. After graduating from Kalamazoo, Yeun moved to Chicago, where he toured with the Second City improv group. He has also worked at Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago and was cast in the play Kafka on the Shore as an understudy in the roles of Kafka and Crow. He stars in the recently released film I Origins that also features Brit Marling and Michael Pitt, and appears in the independent film, My Name is Jerry.
I’m curious by nature. I usually pry into everything, and when it comes to making decisions, they are often left to the gut or worse, an agonizing back and forth in my mind.  Sometimes though, I get really lucky. 
 
One of the luckier moments in my life came when I attended a college fair at my high school. I walked into that college fair completely unaware of what I was looking for, let alone what a liberal arts school was. Luck shone on me that day through a meeting with a representative from Kalamazoo College.

I was surrounded by an eclectic mix of peers who pushed me and exposed me to experience so many different cultures and ideologies. It was a true coming-of-age college experience.

My experience at Kalamazoo was incredible. What I loved about Kalamazoo was that it gave me an opportunity to try everything at least once. I got to study the sciences while also jumping into the theatre. I got to write my thesis on religion while studying abroad in the U.K. I was surrounded by an eclectic mix of peers who pushed me and exposed me to experience so many different cultures and ideologies. It was a true coming-of-age college experience.  
 
During my stay at Kalamazoo College, I met a solid group of friends who all still keep in touch to this day. I don’t know if I know another group of people who have gone on to do as many and as different things as we have done. We have a surgeon, a lawyer who works for a high profile judge, a tech executive, a business owner, a radiologist, and somehow, an actor.
 
These are the people I found during my liberal arts education. I experienced everything with them, and it ultimately made me into the person I am today.  The well-rounded experience not only prepared me for the real world, but also gave me an understanding of others, which I’m not sure I could have gotten anywhere else. I learned how to learn and not just how to memorize some facts. 
 
What an incredibly effective college fair.
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