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Kumba Glay ’24, Fargo, N.D./Firestone, Liberia
Majors/Minor: Accounting with a Public Accountancy concentration and Business with a Finance concentration; Communication Studies 

Please tell us about yourself.

My name is Kumba Glay, and I am currently a junior in the Offutt School of Business as well as a Community Achievement Scholar. I am originally from Liberia, West Africa, and moved to the U.S. with my family when I was 12 years old. I moved to Fargo in 2015 and have been here ever since. I graduated from Davies High School in the spring of 2020 and started my postsecondary education at Concordia the following fall.

How did you choose Concordia and why did you decide to attend college here?

I have a unique Concordia story and it’s one that I love to share. Academic achievement is a big deal in my household. However, because I was an immigrant, a new one, the college process wasn’t very linear for me as compared to my peers. In 2019, my cousin started as a freshman here at Concordia. I would usually tag along with her to events including club meetings. With this, I grew to love the community aspect that Concordia has; however, there was a hindrance. How would I pay for college? My parents had used their savings to get me and my siblings to the U.S. I had no college fund set aside and, because I was on a Temporary Protected Status, I didn’t qualify for FAFSA at the time. Regardless, I was set on coming to Concordia. Just as my dream seemed to die in the beginning of 2020, my cousin informed me about the Community Achievement Scholarship. I knew right then that my dream was possible. With the support of my family, my admission rep, and the goal of positively influencing diversity at Concordia, I applied and I got accepted. I still remember the day I received the news. I was overwhelmed but grateful. Now here I am today at Concordia, accomplishing the dream of a lifetime.

What do you like about the Fargo-Moorhead area?

I grew up in a small community called Harbel, which would be considered a suburb in the U.S. Fargo reminds me of that. I’m not going to lie, when you first come to the U.S., you think that you will move to a big city like New York or Minneapolis; I had that expectation too. My parents, on the other hand, had different plans. For a while I was confused about what to expect; however, Fargo has served me well. It gave me the opportunity to shine and grow into the individual that I am today. I am yet to regret it.

What campus activities are you involved in?

Outside of academics, I am the current president of the Black Student Union on campus, a multicultural intern in the Office of Admission, and a First-Year Transition (FYT) Mentor. During the academic year, you can find me at multiple events on campus, either organizing, singing, or dancing.

How did you decide on your area of study? 

Growing up, when my dad would drive me to school, there were always accounting books in the car. We would discuss some of the contents and I always found it fun discussing it with him. Since then, I’ve always known that I wanted to study accounting.

What are the benefits of taking classes in the Offutt School of Business?

There are many benefits of taking classes in OSB. The biggest one is the small class sizes. The further I go into my majors, the smaller the classes and the easier it is to form connections with professors and peers. This makes it easier to seek help. Another benefit is the Hollstadt Women in Leadership Program. Through this program, I was given the opportunity to network and make many connections, including a career mentor.

Do you have a favorite course or professor and why?

For the most part, I have loved most of my professors thus far. In a way, each course that I’ve taken has added something beneficial to my college experience. Whether it is learning a different way to study for my science courses or understanding the importance of context and content in my religion and communication courses, all lessons have helped me grow into who I am today.

Have you had a PEAK (Pivotal Experience in Applied Knowledge) opportunity and, if so, what did you learn?

I have had the opportunity to participate in two PEAK experiences. One is my role as a FYT Mentor, but my first PEAK was during my first-year seminar where we talked about interfaith. This course renewed my mindset about religion and really emphasized the similarities between the major religions of the world. It formulated a sense of open-mindedness when it comes to how others practice religions and the different religious rhetorics of what religion is today.

What do you value most about your Concordia experience?

I value a lot of my experiences as a Cobber. The most memorable one, however, is being able to see and recognize the changes Concordia has made over the years to accommodate students of color. This includes many things but, most importantly, giving BIPOC student leaders a platform to voice their opinions on important actions that the college is taking.

What advice would you give to a high school student who is considering Concordia?

I would tell them to not hesitate. Concordia may be private and small, but that doesn’t deter you from enjoying the college experience. I remember when I was watching college vlogs on YouTube, I almost psyched myself into believing that I had to go to a popular university to fully enjoy the college experience. However, this is false. College will be what you make of it. It is an unwritten book with pages that are ready to be filled with memories for the beholder.

Published April 2023