Education Without Boundaries
Hugh Geller '14 has never had an unexcused absence in any of his scheduled classes at Goucher. He prides himself on that. But beyond his dedication to his already-rigorous, 16-credit course load, he is also taking four additional classes that he is not even actually enrolled in this semester.
Geller's academic interests and talents run deep, and it would seem there might never be enough class time to quench his profound curiosity and capacity for learning.
He is an International Scholars Program student who came to Goucher on a dance scholarship. He has declared a mathematics major, but plans on making a go at becoming an actor after college.
"Each of these fields has a little bit of me in it, and I wouldn't feel whole if I were missing any of them," he says. "Goucher specifically made a lot of sense to me because I can do everything I want to do."
Geller initially looked at Goucher because multiple generations of women in his family are alumnae: His mother, grandmother, great grandmother*, and several other relatives all studied here. Despite the legacy, however, this place still spoke to him and felt like a good fit, he says. After auditioning for a dance scholarship at Goucher as a prospective student, Geller told his mom that if he got it, he definitely wanted to go here.
He won that scholarship and has since been very involved in dance at Goucher, mostly in ballet, but some modern as well. Considering all the time Geller dedicates to dance, it is perhaps surprising he is not a dance major.
Nor is he a theatre major, despite his hopes of becoming a professional actor — something he has wanted to do from a very young age. Ever since telling his parents about this future career intention, they have been encouraging him to "have something to fall back on." Geller's Plan B rests in being a mathematics major.
"Math makes sense to me. ... English makes sense to some people. History for others. But I see numbers and I get it. ... Throw a good math problem at me, and I can be up for days working on it," he says.
Plus, he figures that if acting does not work out, he can always teach math.
When not dashing to and from class or rehearsals, Geller still finds himself running — literally. He is a member of the cross-country and track and field teams on campus. "Running is my mental stabilizer," he says. "It's when I get a break from all the drama, all the stress from work." Not only that, Geller also emphasizes how much he values the close-knit group that has formed among his team members. "I don't want to say that my teammates are like my brothers, but it's pretty close," he says.
Although Geller claims not to be "an excellent athlete," his attitude about running is a winning one: "You're either good at it or you aren't, but you can work at it," he says.
He similarly views his future plans from this healthy standpoint. Geller knows an acting career is such a shot in the dark. "I can make plans about how I'm going to pursue it," he says, "but I'm going to have to be prepared for it to happen and be prepared for it not to happen."
Fortunately, the liberal arts education he will have gotten at Goucher will be good preparation regardless which path his life takes.
*Isabel Roberts Geller '82, P '14; Mary Ellen Taylor Roberts '51, P '78, P '82; Isabel Carter Taylor '25, P '51