Wagner College is the place where Kathy Hume Arn ’72 built lifelong bonds that are still intact to this very day. Kathy decided to attend Wagner after taking a tour of the campus and immediately falling in love. She majored in Elementary Education and minored in English, graduating in 1972. Soon after graduation, she applied for a teaching position in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia and began her career in the classroom - one that spanned 37 years.
Kathy’s love for singing equals her love for teaching. She began singing as a second grader and joined the choir in middle and high school. When she was a freshman at Wagner, she successfully auditioned for the choir and even received a scholarship for her participation. Kathy believes that her time in the choir helped her to be successful in her career, because through her training she developed the work ethic and strong character needed to be an elementary schoolteacher.
Kathy remembers that while being a part of the choir required serious dedication, it was also a lot of fun. She recalls having to memorize all of the music for the choir performances and was expected to attend every practice, every concert, and every tour. She marveled at the places to which she had the opportunity to travel. The choir traveled across Canada on the Canadian National Railway to Vancouver, down to Seattle and across the northern states. In 1970, the choir traveled to 15 different cities in two weeks. She recalls feeling like they were a rock band on tour!
Kathy’s connection to Wagner’s choir didn’t end after she graduated. She was invited by Dr. Roger Wesby to join the choir on trips to Germany and Austria, Spain, and Costa Rica. During these trips, she has had the opportunity to make lasting friendships with current students. Reflecting on her time in Spain, Ms. Arn said “I think the neatest thing is, and I heard it from older people when I was young, is that you never get old if you’re still young at heart. When I got invited to travel with these kids, we (Alumni) didn’t sit off to the side, we were immersed with students.” Kathy was able to get to know every choir member on a personal level. When asked to reflect on the Spain choir group, Patrick Mooney ’20, said “Kathy was the heart and soul of the Spain choir group and was a pleasure to be around. She was loving and caring. She stood next to me one day in practice because she said I reminded her of her son-in-law. I said I hope that’s a compliment, and she said ‘yes it is’ and our friendship grew from there.”
Kathy believes that anyone who feels so strongly towards their alma mater should want to give back. That is why she has named Wagner in her estate plans. Kathy’s desire to give stems from the fact that her donations come from her heart, and through them, she expresses gratefulness for the memories she has made, people she has met, and hearts she has touched. "The reason I am naming Wagner in my will, is that Wagner gave me so much, being a small campus I knew most people by face if not by name. Wagner has been one of the biggest contributors to my success in life, and it is only fitting that I am a contributor in return.”