In The Light: Eugene Riordan

In The Light: Eugene Riordan

Katherine Kollitides

It’s nearly impossible to be a Colgate student and not know senior Eugene Riordan. Riordan, a Peace and Conflict Studies and International Relations double major, is more than just an enthusiastic and friendly face. When asked what campus activities he’s involved in, he paused.

“Let me check my resume – I’m probably going to leave something out by accident,” he laughed.

Indeed, when you’re a Link, the drum major in pep band, a saxophone player in the wind ensemble, the chair of Lambda, a commentary writer for the Maroon-News, a leader of Ballroom Dancers, a CHOP volunteer at the Hamilton Food Cupboard and a member of the Curling Club, it’s easy to forget an activity here or there.

However, Riordan thrives on being part of so many diverse aspects of campus life.

“Every student should make their Colgate experience an adventure,” Riordan said. “You should take advantage of everything. There is so much to learn and uncover.”

Choosing to attend Colgate proved to be an adventure itself for Riordan, who hails from Butte, Montana.

“Most of my family members and my classmates from high school went to school in-state, so it was hard for me to think of going anywhere else,” Riordan said. “But I wanted to travel. I had heard so many good things about Colgate that I decided to apply. The first day I saw the school was move-in day.”

This leap of faith proved to be a success for Riordan, who enthusiastically voices his love for Colgate. He says his study-abroad trip to Geneva, Switzerland last semester was the most pivotal moment in his Colgate career, though.

“I went with the most phenomenal group of people,” Riordan said. “We visited 17 different countries all across Europe. It was a lot of work and a lot of play. [Associate Professor of Political Science] Barry Shain is incredible and very intelligent – I learned so much from him.”

Riordan hopes to continue his world travels after graduation. He is currently applying for a Fulbright scholarship to teach English in Thailand and a Watson grant to study the international queer rights movement. However, despite his worldly aspirations, Riordan still emphasizes that Colgate has been his home and has allowed him to grow in many ways.

“Attending Colgate has made me challenge myself and those around me,” Riordan said. “May it be the random friendships with the people you meet, or discovering what we can do for ourselves and others, no day at Colgate turns out as you think it will. There’s always something waiting to surprise you.”