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Living the Cal Poly Legacy

Posted December 22, 2017

Hello! My name is Will Ingram, and I’m currently a third-year Marketing student at Cal Poly, minoring in Philosophy. My mom, Karen Ingram, graduated in 1987 with a degree in Business Organizations. My brother, Jay Ingram, is a first-year Materials Engineering student. Cal Poly has always been a part of our family, from Karen’s many sorority friends still coming over and telling stories to just hearing about both our parents’ college experiences (my dad went to UCI).

Ingram Family Photo
Jay (left), Karen (middle), and Will (right) at Mustang Family Weekend 2017 after a performance by the marching band.

Hear about my family’s experience and love for Cal Poly and San Luis Obispo today.

Why did you choose to come to Cal Poly?

Karen:  I chose Cal Poly because I wanted to stay in the CSU system. I transferred from Cal State Fullerton after doing two years there. I wanted to go away to college and experience life outside of Southern California, where I had grown up and gone to school all of my life. In 1987, college selection was a much simpler process!

Will:  I initially visited Cal Poly at the request of my mom to see how her school had changed while on a tour of six or so colleges in Northern California. While the school was mostly closed, I was able to get a tour of the Recreation Center, which sold me on at least applying to the school. From there, I just slowly eliminated some of the other colleges I had applied to, and between the price, academic prestige, and location, I ended up here and I couldn’t be happier.

Jay:  I had visited my brother when he was a freshman, and I think that was really the first time I thought about possibly applying to Cal Poly. I had the luck to be dragged along on all of Will’s college tours, so I had a pretty good idea of where I wanted to go already. However, the real selling points of Cal Poly were the Marching Band and the MATE (Materials Engineering) program. I was involved with my high school’s band and wanted to continue that experience, and I absolutely love the band here at Poly. The MATE program is very hands-on, and as someone who always loves doing projects and working with my hands, it was a dream come true.

What is your favorite Cal Poly tradition?

Karen: My favorite tradition, by far, is the Cal Poly Rodeo. I had never seen nor heard about rodeos until I went to Cal Poly and my sorority, Sigma Kappa, worked the event at Poly Royal (now Open House) taking tickets. Last year was so much fun having the rodeo in Spanos Stadium and getting to see all the super talented students!

Will: I’d have to say either the Week of Welcome (WOW) or the blue green rivalry game. WOW is such a uniquely Cal Poly experience, and I’ve been privileged to be able to lead a WOW group as well as train a group of WOW leaders as an Orientation Team member. The blue green game is the soccer game against UCSB, and the most spirited the school ever gets. Everyone shows up rocking their best green and gold, carrying signs, horns, cymbals, and tortillas. The game is always super close, and when we (always) win, we charge the field to celebrate. The energy is like nothing else the entire year.

Jay: Definitely WOW. The band does their own version of the week, and while it is fast and furious, you get super close with your WOW group—people that I wouldn’t have been friends with otherwise, people in different majors, who play different instruments, and simply have different interests. It was a great way to give me a group of friends as soon as I got to school, and I think it’s one of the reasons my first quarter has been so much fun.

What is/was your favorite class?

Karen:  My favorite class at Cal Poly was any class taught by Dr. Bill Preston in the Social Sciences Department. He was very engaging and I was able to understand and retain the material with ease. I really enjoyed his teaching style and I can still remember it today!

Will:  One of my favorite classes is my Philosophy: Ethics and Political Philosophy class that I’m taking with Professor Ball. It really resonated with me and encouraged me to pursue a minor in the subject. Professor Ball is amazingly crazy, has the best ties you can imagine, and makes the class very engaging, fair, and relevant. In a time with so much political drama, having a knowledge base of other ways of thinking helps me critically analyze current events and see them in a different light.

Jay: Well it is my first quarter here, but probably my Intro to Materials Engineering class. It is very hands-on and is teaching me a lot about my major. I was able to get certified in the machine lab, so now if I ever have a personal project, I have the full resources of that lab to help me finish it. I can’t wait to get started!

What is your favorite memory of your time at Cal Poly?

Karen: One of my best memories of my time at Cal Poly was going to London Study. The program was very new then, and the group was very small compared to what it is now. Immediately after London Study, a smaller group of us went to the then Soviet Union (now Russia) for two weeks. Going behind the Iron Curtain was a big deal and a wonderful eye-opening experience for me. So much has changed since I was at Cal Poly, yet it is still exactly the same! It definitely has grown in size, with new buildings, dorms, and other facilities, but the one thing that hasn’t changed is the feel of the campus. Cal Poly and San Luis Obispo were such happy places to be and it seems it still is a happy place. Students are engaged, happy, helpful, and proud to call Cal Poly home, the same way my friends and I called it home when I went to school.