Niels Truman

Niels Truman BA '22



Degree and Class Year

BA ’22


Aurora, Oregon


Theatre and English (double)

What three words would you use to describe L&C?

Stimulating, Inviting, Verdant

What’s your favorite class? How has it expanded your knowledge?

My favorite class in college was Chaucer taught by Associate Professor Karen Gross. It taught me how to approach difficult texts with enthusiasm and confidence. Additionally, the class felt like a real community, facilitated by Karen and bolstered by Chaucer’s writing.

What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?

Having grown up here, I have a strong attachment to the state of Oregon and the city of Portland. When I was in high school I thought I wanted to get far away, and so I went to college in Ohio for two years. I missed my home state and the PNW vibes, and decided to transfer. I am very happy to be at L&C—it’s a welcoming school with a lot of opportunities. I think L&C’s biggest strength is individual attention; I have felt seen and recognized at every step of the way.

How do you describe the liberal arts?

I think the liberal arts is all about becoming a critical thinker. It prioritizes curiosity and empathy in an academic framework that pushes you to challenge yourself.

Where do you find community on campus?

I’ve found community in the theatre department. It’s a welcoming, supportive space with a bunch of passionate, talented people. I always feel enlivened by theatre events on campus; the energy is high. There’s a deep sense of care, both for the work and for those involved.

Have you been involved with one of our symposia, as an organizer or participant? What was the experience like? How did the event complement your academic experience?

I have attended a number of symposia events—most recently a workshop on intimacy led by Haley Wildhirt BA ’22 for this year’s Gender Studies Symposium. I love how L&C gives students a platform for speaking on these issues in an academic yet person-focused setting. I also love how all of the symposia create a sense of event on campus.

What advice do you have for prospective students?

My advice for prospective students is: don’t be afraid to fail. Work hard and try your best, but don’t worry about being perfect in everything you do; and definitely don’t opt out of something just because you think you’re not qualified. In my experience, the faculty here is extremely supportive. What they care about the most is how much effort you put into your work, not how expertly proficient it is.

Are you a transfer student? If so, why did you choose to transfer to Lewis & Clark? How is Lewis & Clark supporting you as a transfer student?

As a transfer student, I was very worried that I wouldn’t be able to make friends or ever truly feel like a part of L&C. But I received so much support from day one—especially from the faculty—that I felt I had access to a real community. While there are definitely challenges to being a transfer student, I’m ultimately glad I made that call. I feel very connected to the college.

Why are you planning to double major? What relationship do you see between Theatre and English?

I decided to double major in Theatre and English because I have a real passion for both disciplines. There’s a lot of overlap between these two specific majors: they’re both built around storytelling and require you to generate a great deal of original material. It’s been very rewarding and, in a way, freeing to switch between the different departments, making connections in both.

What led you to study creative writing?

Creative writing—in the form of playwriting and fiction writing—has always been a source of joy in my life. I wanted to study something I felt passionately about. Additionally, both of my majors are based in stories, so I figured that learning how to write a good story would contribute well to the academic disciplines I’m invested in.