International graduate calls Stetson home

Viviana Vasiu

Viviana VasiuAs a freshman, I still remember all my fears and doubts as I settled into my first dorm room in Stetson’s Chaudoin Hall. How will this girl from Romania succeed in this challenging environment with support systems and family thousands and thousands of miles away?

The answer was what I had been fervently searching for my entire life: a home. Not second to my home in Romania, but a home of firsts—a place where I was constantly pushed to develop and refine the best version of myself.

At Stetson, I was able to express and develop my “Renaissance” personality. As Hatters, I quickly realized we are not just here to conventionally study and take exams. We are here to make a special contribution to the world in whatever way we choose with our lives and careers.

That special contribution has to bubble up from our own personal development and internal values. Every day at Stetson was an opportunity for this growth. There were hours of critical reading, researching and writing. Some of those times called for casually walking into professors’ offices and going over papers and future plans. Other times required chairing conduct board hearings, recruiting for my co-ed fraternity, organizing events for women’s leadership and anti-bullying organizations, training for the athletic rowing team, revising my law school personal statement ad nauseam.

Then fun activities became part of that personal growth, such as attending concerts and parties organized by Hatter Productions. Each time, my values, maturity, and personality were tested and refined into the liberal arts Stetson mindset and culture.

This special experience made me more than ready for law school applications and success.

Law school admission committees noticed the way Stetson shaped me for lifelong significance. I sent 15 law school applications and did not receive one letter of rejection. I think this is just amazing.

I heard from the top 18 law schools, such as Emory, William and Mary, the University of Florida, Penn State and Stetson Law, many offering me full scholarships. I believe this speaks to Stetson’s quality of education.

I am thrilled to start the next chapter of my life at Stetson College of Law and achieve the top grades, recommendations and growth to potentially continue with an LLM at an Ivy League law school.

Stetson showed me that anything is possible and instilled in me a legacy of love, passion, lifelong values, support and a sense of community that no other school or environment could surpass.

Nothing beats the Stetson culture.

Stetson will soon be much more than my alma mater. It will be the home I will always return to—if not physically, then internally and mentally throughout all the future chapters of my life.

By Viviana Vasiu

2015 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Stetson University

and former student assistant editor of STETSON MAGAZINE

Viviana was chosen to be a Student Marshall for the College of Arts and Sciences

at the May 9, 2015 Commencement Ceremony.