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Summer Thompson ’19

Summer ThompsonTo Atlanta resident Summer Thompson ’19, Syracuse University was always a dream school. “I want to be in the public relations/communications field and aspire to have my own events firm specializing in sports and entertainment. The Newhouse School is the best and I wanted to be a part of it,” Thompson says.

A state track and field champion, Thompson put her competitive nature toward achieving that dream. She majors in communications and began her SU journey at the College of Visual and Performing Arts. After her freshman year, Thompson was accepted at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications for a minor in PR—one of her proudest moments to date.

In addition to her communications studies, Thompson enjoys pursuing her first passion—cheerleading—and says people may not realize the level of commitment the sport requires. “We cheer for all the sports, compete for the school, travel, and practice right along with the other athletes. Our practice is also for the entire school year, not seasonal. Workouts are five days a week, generally for three hours, and those of us who compete for the school practice six days a week,” Thompson says. “It’s grueling but worthwhile. Unlike other schools, Syracuse gives us access to the same academic support programs that other athletes have, which is great. And going to the Final Four as a freshman cheerleader, serving as an ambassador for SU, was a phenomenal experience.”

Thompson appreciates SU’s diverse student body, its wealth of programs and activities, and its community atmosphere despite being a fairly large school. “What’s impacted me most, however, are the people—they’re smart, open, honest, and intellectually sharp. I’ve really matured and grown as a person, and my interests have expanded,” Thompson says. “Atlanta is a great place, but Syracuse has exposed me to so much more of the world, current events, and topics relevant to me and my community. For example, I never expected to become one of the original members of the board of Femme Noire, a digital magazine focused on women of color. I’ve always been interested in matters of race and feminism, but didn’t openly volunteer or advocate for these causes. Syracuse has really opened my mind to new and challenging things.”

When her student journey ends, Thompson plans to start her career in corporate America before pursuing that dream of launching her own PR and events firm. She’s also considering law school to explore the field of sports and talent management. “Whatever I decide, I’m certain Syracuse will have prepared me well,” Thompson says.