In the Light: Mary Acoymo

Mary Acoymo’s charisma immediately takes your breath away. Her refreshing smile and stalwart optimism makes it all the more amazing that she is one of the busiest students on campus.

“My head actually swims when I think of all the stuff I have to do every day,” she says, giggling.

Not only is Acoymo a member of Colgate’s Konosioni Senior Honor Society, she was voted Konosioni president by her 25 fellow Konosioni peers.

“I was happy and proud and honored,” she said of being named president.

It comes as no surprise to those who know Acoymo that she is always leading her fellow classmates. She is editor-in-chief of The Allegorical Athena, a literary journal published by the Women’s Studies Department. Joining the journal staff her first year here, Acoymo soon moved up to co-editor-in-chief and then took on the full responsibility herself. Among her reasons for joining this woman-oriented publication, she states, “I want to expand what people think feminism means.”

As a sophomore, Acoymo participated in the first year of the Sophomore Year Experience, and it was here that she realized “for the first time, just how powerful students could be on campus … We used the sophomores as a force in the community, in an attempt to bridge the gap between Colgate and Hamilton.” Sophomores at Hamilton High School were invited to Colgate to eat with college sophomores and to participate in discussions and lectures.

“We wanted to break down the idea that Colgate is a gilded castle that they don’t have access to,” says Acoymo, “In reality, we are the ones visiting their home.” Working with the Sophomore Year Experience gave Acoymo an understanding of how much the administration backs the students in changing the community.

As if that weren’t enough, Acoymo has been a Best Buddy, a diligent member in the SGA elections, an intern in admissions and a greeter and tour guide to incoming students. In addition, Acoymo and classmate Tiffany Chu started the Filipino Club. She also intends to begin a babysitting club.

Says Acoymo, “I guess I’m most upset about graduating because I still have so much I want to do on campus!”

Though a recent internship at Newsweek in London spawned numerous job offers in the media and journalism realm, Acoymo intends to go into business consulting in Boston.

As Konosioni president, Acoymo was given the honor of greeting the new first-year class at convocation with a speech.

“I remembered the speech given my freshman year,” she says, “and how special those moments are.”

So what did she have to say to the new class entering Colgate?

“Oh, the clich?e stuff,” she says, “but it’s true. Four years go by quickly. I wanted them to see how much they could love Colgate.”

Acoymo encouraged the new class of 2009 to get involved, saying that “the choices you make now-what activities you join, what classes you take, how much you challenge yourself, what friends you make-these are the decisions that last a lifetime.”

A born leader, Acoymo’s mantra is “The winner always wants the ball,” which reminds her that no matter what she fears, success requires a perseverance and a courage that only leaders have.

“Everyone’s scared,” she says, “if you’re a leader, you have to step up.”