In a polarizing world, it can be easy to forget that the people around us are more than what they appear to be on their surface. This is especially easy to forget while living in the intense microcosm of a small college, where it is all too easy to break apart social groupings by major, sport or club. Sometimes it takes meeting and getting to know someone like Brendan Libby ’19, a nursing major from Contoocook, N.H., to remember that we are all more than what is on our transcripts.

As a member of the Campus Activities Board (CAB), Libby is recognizable to anyone on campus who has ever played Wacky Bingo as the guy with the microphone who loves cracking jokes. But not everything is fun and games for Libby. At 23, he has already worked a number of jobs, including as an EMT, a ski patrolman, a volunteer firefighter with the New London Fire Department and even as a private investigator. What do these roles all have in common? They’re all hands-on and team-oriented, and they require a kind of selflessness that fits well not only with nursing but also with the academic mission of Colby-Sawyer. Here, the sciences and humanities, the academics and pre-professional preparation all come together to guide students into becoming the well-rounded scholars and citizens they were meant to be. Libby, with his friendly demeanor and passion for helping others, is the epitome of that ideal.

A commitment to serving others is inherent to his character. “My grandfather was a firefighter, my mother was an EMT, my father and brother are police officers … I was taught that helping people is something I should strive for,” he said.

In high school, Libby believed he would pursue a career as a chef, but then he took a “hard curve toward nursing” after he fell in love with helping people as an EMT. Libby found Colby-Sawyer shortly after completing his basic course requirements in community college and knew Colby-Sawyer was the perfect fit for finishing his undergraduate education.

Colby-Sawyer, with its academics and campus life based on the foundation of a liberal arts education, has been instrumental for Libby in his journey to become a well-rounded nurse.

“The best attribute a nurse can have is to be empathetic,” Libby said. “Having a background in the liberal arts is helpful to that end because they promote a sense of openness and understanding.” For Libby, this openness has extended beyond the hospital and classroom, making him one of the most approachable and kind-hearted individuals on campus.

Libby hopes to become a traveling nurse and eventually buy a plot of land where he can build a house, sow a garden and set up a workshop for canoe building and other woodworking projects. Just like his academic and professional past, Libby’s future promises to be multi-faceted, inclusive and dedicated to making the world a safer, healthier place to live.