Mary Willis Bertram Fife ’16

“Yale or Montreat?”

Montreat Degree: Bachelor’s in English
Graduation Year: 2016
Title: Graduate Student at Reformed Episcopal Seminary

“People tend to be surprised when I tell them I chose Montreat over Yale,” says Montreat student Mary Willis Bertram Fife. “But the truth is that Montreat offers a lot of things Ivy League schools can’t.” For Mary Willis, the Montreat College Honors Program’s integration of a Great Books education with a traditional major is an example of the unique experience Montreat offers. “You’re reading what Plato is saying about your Business major. Or what Erasmus is saying about your Outdoor Education major. As far as I know, no other college offers this kind of mix. And I looked everywhere for it.”

Eventually, Mary Willis decided that Montreat would provide the best combination of intellectual, spiritual, and personal formation. “The Residence Life Program is so strong, providing an opportunity to embrace what it means to be a woman within the context of a Christian community, and that’s something you can’t get in a co-ed dorm on a secular campus.”

Mary Willis also appreciates the personal mentoring opportunities unique to Montreat. “I had the opportunity to work closely with my advisor Dr. Don King [former editor of the Christian Scholar’s Review and a leading C.S. Lewis scholar], helping edit his books and traveling with him to Oxford over the summer. The first time we met, we had coffee and talked about medieval cosmology for two hours, and he’s been really important in my life ever since.”