In The Light: Annie Ben-Ami



Rebecca Raudabaugh

A capella is not as easy as it looks – the pitch is based entirely off one another and there are no instruments besides the human voice. For senior Annie Ben-Ami, however, it comes almost naturally. Ben-Ami is the musical leader of the Swinging Gates, Colgate’s all-female a capella group. She runs practice, maintains sound and is “the one who waves their hand around.”

“It is so much fun, a huge responsibility, but very rewarding,” Ben-Ami said.

Ben-Ami is a Peace and Conflict Studies major, though she was originally considering going into International Telations. She ended up choosing Peace and Conflict Studies because International Relations was just too theoretical.

“I’ve had great experiences with classes and have found that I am really passionate about social justice, as are the professors,” Ben-Ami said of her major.

The Colgate Jewish Union has also been graced with Ben-Ami’s dutiful leadership. As a sophomore, Ben-Ami facilitated Israel programming through her internship with Hillel. She takes part in the Shabbat services every week and is also the Sapperstein Center monitor on Tuesdays and Thursdays. During these Thursdays, she bakes challah.

Ben-Ami was also lucky enough to study abroad in Venice last fall. The program focused on music and art history, and even though it did not pertain to her major, Ben-Ami thought that “it was great to get out there and experience culture.” The curriculum was difficult, but worthwhile.

“It was hard, we really had to work,” Ben-Ami said. From learning about the history of Rome and then getting a chance to study the archeology hands-on, to studying operas and then going to see them Ben-Ami thoroughly enjoyed the unique learning experiences.

Now back on campus, what does Ben-Ami believe is the greatest thing about Colgate?

“Everything!” Ben-Ami said. But when asked to choose, she spoke about the community. “The amazing people that are at Colgate, who you get a chance to get to know because everyone is so involved, so interconnected.”

Ben-Ami feels that she has grown as a person as well, learning about herself, her values, habits and what she wants to do with herself.

“It is sad to leave, so enjoy it while you can!” Ben-Ami said.

Ben-Ami is hoping to work outside Washington D.C. after graduation, maybe for an Non Government Organization or something related to human rights, just to gain experience before going on to law school. Her advice to first-years?

“Take advantage of everything. Think about the big picture, have fun and do everything with a smile on your face.”