By: Dezaray Barr
Mauleen Ndlovu, an IWU student, spoke at this year’s Indiana Wesleyan University Scholarship Luncheon in October, and her story is one that continues to impact our community.
Her full name is Gugulethu Mauleen Ndlovu. Gugulethu means “our precious one,” and Ndlovu translates to “elephant”.
“Now that you know the meaning of my first name and the translation of my last name, feel free to call me ‘our precious elephant’ from here on out,” Ndlovu said during her speech at the scholarship luncheon, sending a wave of laughter through the crowd.
Ndlovu, a junior computer science major, is originally from Zimbabwe.
She came to the United States as a first grader and grew up in Chicago.
“Getting to IWU was quite the journey,” Ndlovu said. “When I started thinking about the possibilities of college during my junior year of high school, I was ecstatic.”
Like many students, Ndlovu was looking forward to going away to school, becoming independent, and starting a new chapter in life.
“I soon discovered that college is expensive, and I feared that I would not be able to go to the school of my dreams due to finances,” she said. “My family did not have the means to send me to college and continuing my education would be a challenge.”
Because she wanted to continue her education at a Christian institution, Ndlovu knew that her choices were even further limited.
Ndlovu knew of a few people who had attended IWU, and she prayed about the decision a lot.
“[Those I knew] praised IWU for their academics, culture, and the community,” she explained. “By God’s provisions, I was able to start my new chapter at Indiana Wesleyan University. It has been through the generosity of donors that I am able to continue my education and grow in my faith on this campus.”
On IWU’s residential Marion campus, Ndlovu has found a great community and a great group of friends.
“I have developed close relationships with my computer science professors and with professors outside of my department,” Ndlovu said during her speech. “The staff at IWU loves to see the students grow, and they genuinely care about each student’s well-being.”
She said that the community and the encouraging culture is what sets IWU apart, making it different from other universities.
Ndlovu has also had numerous other opportunities on campus. During her sophomore year, she had the privilege of being a teacher’s assistant for a life calling class.
Ndlovu also currently volunteers in the Upward Bound program as a math tutor for underprivileged high school students in the community.
She continued, “In my department, I serve as the vice president of the Association for Computing Machinery, also known as ACM. In ACM, we seek to gain understanding of technology, learn how to use available technologies, tackle technological challenges, and prepare for the future of computing.”
This year, Ndlovu works in the financial aid office on IWU’s residential campus, and she said that they have helped her in multiple ways.
“There’s been some terms that are confusing for my dad [because he’s from Zimbabwe], and the financial aid office has been extremely helpful in that situation,” she said.
As Ndlovu ended her speech at the luncheon, she wanted to thank the donors in attendance.
“Generous donors, like you, have allowed me to do immensely more than I ever imagined and it’s through them that I am able to continue my education here and be so heavily involved on campus,” she said.
“My education at IWU is allowing me to follow my dream of becoming a software engineer. Through my department and this community, I have learned to embrace working with others and asking for help in a Christ-centered environment, so that I can be prepared for when I leave IWU and venture out in the world,” Ndlovu finished.
She continued, “If it were not for IWU, I would not have grown closer in my faith with a group of students and professors who constantly love, support and cheer for me. I would also not have discovered that my life calling is helping others and being the light of the Lord in my major.”
Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the IWU Alumni Office. Dezaray is a senior Strategic Communication, Journalism and Honors Humanities triple major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. Visit Dez’s website at www.dezaraybarr.weebly.com.