By Imani Holmes

Special to The Denisonian

When looking at the many students who grace Denison’s campus every August, and to see their eagerness to start a fresh, engaging academic school year, it is safe to say that every individual carries with them a story. Behind this story, there are inevitable hardships, triumphs, roadblocks and peaks.

Through life’s definite hardships, the essence of the “Denisonian” comes into form, which makes this community great.

Among the many Denison scholars who were in attendance at D.U. Lead, a first-years only weekend leadership retreat in Perryville, OH at Camp NuHop, was Dre Lomax ‘19, an energetic, creative student who demonstrated passions for art, diversity and friendship.

Throughout the weekend, students were challenged to consider how they will “make their mark” on Denison’s campus.

For one of the first activities, small, club groups were challenged with various activities at NuHop such as high ropes challenges and team building activities.

The goal of these activities was for the students to let down their guards and become vulnerable. While many were timid, Lomax took the initiative to step out of his comfort zone and relay personal details about his life and how these circumstances have influenced who he is today.

When delving into issues such as why family is important, students reflected and shared stories about life at home and the transition to Denison.

Participants bonded through these experiences, making friendships that will last beyond the weekend.

As D.U. Lead came to an end, students were able to reflect on the weekend’s activities and come to profound conclusions: scholars in attendance shared more commonalities than they did differences. The stories Denisonians shared united students across racial, social and religious barriers.

According to Denison’s website, “D.U. Lead is an intensive weekend institute for emerging leaders in the Denison community. Limited to a select number of first-year students, the D.U. Lead institute aims to address and develop a variety of leadership skills.”

Photo Courtesy of Imani Abernathy