Hannah Campbell '02, Christian Brescia '03 and Lisa Goldstein '03 were honored as outstanding young alumni during Elon's first Alumni Leadership Weekend Oct. 23-25.
Returning to Elon for the first time since their graduation, Campbell, Brescia and Goldstein marveled athow much their alma mater has changed, and at how much has stayed the same.
“It feels like I never left. There’s the same personality and charisma here, the sameethics,” Brescia said.
Much has changed in the lives of these three alumniwho have made their mark on the entertainment world in the short time sincethey left the university. Campbell, Brescia and Goldstein were honored at a luncheon on Oct. 24for their achievements in their careers. The celebration highlighted Alumni Leadership Weekend, which is part of the university’sinitiative to strengthen ties between Elon and its graduates of thepast 10 years.
“They truly are exactly the model we want for this program,”said Sallie Hutton ’92, director of alumni relations, of the luncheon’shonorees.
During their visit to campus, the three alumni spoke to students in the School of Communications and the performing arts department, aswell as during informational sessions and activities. They also attended FallConvocation with David McCullough on Oct. 23 and were expected to attend the Elon vs. Wofford footballgame on Saturday. Most important,though, was their interaction with the students.
“It’s important for young alumni to come back and have afresh idea in mind of what they learned and still use in their careers, and totell students that their time here is being put to good use,” saidGoldstein, who currently appearson the CW network’s hit TV show, “One Tree Hill,” in the role of Millicent Huxtable. Since graduating in 2003, she has performed at the Naples Dinner Theatre,the Heritage Repertory Theatre, The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina and WaltDisney World.
Campbell, Elon’s first graduate with a B.F.A. in theatre arts, also recognized the importance of fostering relationships between youngalumni and current Elon students.
“The world is changing, career paths are changing,” said Campbell,who has performed with the oldest repertory theatre in Los Angeles, The Companyof Angels. She also recently wrapped up a six-week run as Sally Bowles in “Cabaret” andserves as president of Elon’s new Los Angeles alumni chapter. She has also appeared in numeroustelevision commercials, shows and pilots, as well as webisodes and films.
“To have alumni pave the way for students and to use foradvice and as an ‘in’ for internships, that’s really important,” she said.
Brescia has seen his career blossom primarily behind thecamera. He has been nominated for two technical and four creative arts EmmyAwards for the marketing campaigns he’s created for ABC, Fox and FX networks, among others. Now an executivewith Storm Media Studios and Supercell Design, Brescia got his start with Storm Media nearly five years ago while moving boxes for them as they moved toa new office. He was hiredfull-time as director of technology for the company when he hooked up theircomputers and networks without being asked to. Based on that experience and hisadvancement through the company, he said that the best advice he could give Elon students is to keep a strong work ethic.
“Once you get out of Elon to a place like L.A., you see thateveryone is talented, everyone is the next big thing,” he said. “You have to put your nose to thegrindstone just to make it happen. Your commitment – or your non-commitment – will stand out like a sorethumb.”
Though Campbell, Brescia and Goldstein have takendifferent career paths, they agreed that Elon provided the sound foundation theyneeded to achieve their dreams so early in their careers.
“I wouldn’t be the actor or the business-savvy person I amtoday without the professors and staff here,” Campbell said.