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Meet Kaden Gass '22

A Path of Self-Discovery

Kaden Gass '22 working on his laptop in T.J. Day Hall

Posted on 12.23.21 by Kaden Gass '22 in School of Business

I came to Linfield on a whim in 2018 after graduating from Telluride High School in Telluride, CO.

Four years later, I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world. 

Making the decision to attend Linfield felt tough at the time. I didn’t know anybody in the area. When I came to the McMinnville campus for a tour, the small supportive environment made me feel heard and appreciated. The educational aspect was a big factor for me in choosing Linfield as well. I had no idea what I wanted to study. And the great thing about Linfield is, that’s okay! You don’t have to know right away what you want to do for the rest of your life.

In fact, you’re encouraged to spend your first year exploring your options.

For me, spending the time in general areas of study not only broadened my perspective on what I could possibly study but also honed my reading and writing skills which helped me begin to think more critically.

I was also drawn to the initial support I felt on campus.

When I first arrived at Linfield I had just come out as gay to my friends. Even at the time of touring, my parents didn’t completely know who I was. So, when choosing a university, a lot of decisions rested on not only how well the campus treated me, but how the people around me treated me as well. It’s really hard being a social outcast for something you can't control. When I was met here with open arms and treated fairly for who I was, that was a really special feeling.

Kaden celebrating with the volleyball coach and player with cheers and high fives after a successful playI found a community in Linfield volleyball.

I’ve had some rough patches at Linfield. But that’s all a part of life and learning from your mistakes and becoming better. A big part that has helped me in my college career is the volleyball team. I’ve always loved the sport and learned from my mom every day when we played out in the yard.

When I asked out of the blue if I could help and contribute to the team my first year, I was thrilled that they said “absolutely!” I genuinely believe that if my coach Josh did not say yes, I would have transferred somewhere else, so I’m very grateful for the opportunity to be with such an amazing team.

Kaden smiling for a photo with three volleyball playersI have discovered who I am at Linfield. That is an indescribable feeling.

I want to say to anyone debating whether they should come here that, yes, it’s not perfect and, yes, there will be obstacles, but I guarantee you that these experiences will not only make you stronger – they will ultimately prepare you for life after Linfield.

There’s a reason it’s called the “Linfield experience.” You don’t quite understand what that means until you’ve lived it to your fullest.

You will unearth your full potential here.