Young Alumni Advice: To Samme Eisenhauer, UW is Community

man and woman in cap and gown, holding a dog
Photo courtesy of Samme Eisenhauer

By David Stotzer 

To alumna Samme Eisenhauer, UW is more than just a school — it’s a community. What it means to be a Cowboy goes far beyond the alma mater that we all share.

Eisenhauer recently graduated with her degree in marketing and now works for the UWAA, so she has a unique perspective on the university and what it means to be a student. “Being an alum has really expanded my love and appreciation for the university, the state and everything that we stand for,” she says.

And it’s not just the Cowboy way of life and beautiful outdoors that Eisenhauer appreciates about Wyoming. “I never had that community feel until I came here,” she says. “Wyoming — and especially the university — is a community.” UW helped Eisenhauer grow as a person and has helped her always find the positives in a negative situation.

Eisenhauer was one of many UW students who lived through online learning during the COVID pandemic, and she says that that experience taught her what it meant to have grit and gave her what it takes to be a Cowboy. She learned how to roll with the punches, not just academically but with life in general.

Eisenhauer also recognizes the importance of the people you surround yourself with. Going to college during a global pandemic might have been the most impactful experience of her student career, but it was the community that made the ordeal not just survivable but enjoyable.

“During COVID, I was able to lean on my friends, and we were able to get through it together,” Eisenhauer says. “I met my roommate freshman year, and we lived together all through college. These really are lifelong friends that I’ve made.”

Eisenhauer also met her boyfriend of four years at UW. “He has had such a positive impact on my life,” she says. “And our 1-year-old golden retriever, Flynn, are big parts UW gave me!”

But, like all good things, Eisenhauer’s time as a student eventually came to an end. As she reflected on her undergrad, she realized how quickly the time flew by.

“Life’s too short to be in a major that doesn’t suit you and doesn’t make you happy,” she says. “If I could give a student one piece of advice, it would be to take every opportunity you can get.”

Since starting her position as executive assistant with the UW Alumni Association, Eisenhauer’s favorite part has been bringing excitement back to the university’s alumni: “It’s so impactful, seeing that glow and excitement when you take alumni to events.”

And the Wyoming community extends far beyond our state’s borders. Having traveled with the UWAA to numerous different states, Eisenhauer has seen people’s love for the brown and gold all across the country.

It’s not just when she’s at work that she experiences this love, either. She remembers a personal trip to Washington, D.C., where she was wearing a UW sweatshirt and saw someone with a UW hat on. “We just started chatting,” she says, “and it struck me how crazy that was, that there are Pokes from one side of this country to the other.”

For Eisenhauer and many others like her, UW is a community — one that lasts, one that has spread far and wide, and one that changes lives.

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