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Baylor University-bound Graduate Credits ACC Experience as Right Decision

Claire Brinkley

Above, Baylor University-bound Claire Brinkley in her ACC cap and gown on June 3.

(June 14, 2002)Claire Brinkley, a 2022 Alamance Community College graduate, is headed to Baylor University this fall where she plans to study sports marketing. Her North Carolina roots – and successful educational career at ACC – both played a pivotal role in helping the Western Alamance High graduate fulfill her decision to transfer across the country to continue her education at a prestigious university.

The Gibsonville resident grew up in a family of season ticket holders to Duke University women’s basketball games. It was while attending those contests that she met Duke marketing staff members and learned about their careers.

“I came to see how they play a role in helping their sports teams be successful,” said Claire. “Attending games increased my understanding of athletic department administration.”

The advent of COVID-19 in 2020 played a role in Claire’s decision to attend ACC after high school graduation. She didn’t think that leaving home for college was a good idea at that time. Enrolling at ACC seemed to be the perfect path for her, providing a safer opportunity to complete an associate degree while figuring out her future.

Claire soon realized how right her decision to attend ACC was. The pandemic predicated that most of her classes were taught online and she appreciated how the instructors worked hard to keep their students engaged, including being available for individual Zoom calls, answering emails promptly, and outlining expectations for the students.

“Picking colleges and areas of study are major life decisions,” said Claire. “Attending Alamance Community College for two years allowed me to take time to weigh my options and make choices that were right for me.”

One of those ‘right’ decisions came last December, when Claire learned she had been accepted to Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Baylor consistently ranks in the top 100 in America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report.

Claire said she was uncertain if she wanted to move more than a thousand miles from home to earn her bachelor’s degree. After visiting the Baylor campus, however, she knew that was where she wanted to spend the next two years. While pursuing her degree in marketing, she hopes to join the Baylor marching or pep band or work directly with one of Baylor’s sports teams.

“Growing up in North Carolina has provided me with the opportunity to attend many sporting events,” said Claire. “I hope to ultimately work in an environment that allows me to combine my love of sports with my education to enhance the game day experience for students and fans.”