An Ambassador for Christ

Ashlyn Nichols Experience, My Why, Purpose, Student Life

Whenever the spring semester arrives at the University of Mobile, flowers bloom near the sidewalks. The sun beams upon the campus, and the oak trees wave as they welcome students back to school. Friends reunite and anticipation is in the air. With the new semester comes athletic events, concerts, and one of the most highly-anticipated events… the selection of the University of Mobile Ambassadors.

Three years ago, I entered the program as a sophomore; last year I entered as the secretary; and this year I enter as the vice president. Over the course of my time at UM, it is safe to say that I have “grown up” with the program.

The UM Ambassador program has gifted me with the opportunity to refine my leadership, interpersonal and professional skills. My favorite part about the program is getting to build relationships with people both inside and outside UM. I have met people of diverse backgrounds and ages, and I love hearing their unique stories.

When I first visited UM, the ambassadors went above and beyond to make me feel right at home. When I committed to UM only two weeks before classes started, they were right there to answer my questions. Becoming a UM Ambassador has given me the chance to give back to the same community that I fell in love with at 18 years old. Entering college can be a daunting process, but that is where the ambassadors come in.

Most importantly, this program has deepened my understanding of what it means to live out 2 Corinthians 5:20. This verse encourages believers to be “an ambassador for Christ” first and foremost. Being an ambassador gives me the opportunity to showcase the love of God toward prospective students, faculty and staff.

One thing I love about the program is that we are ambassadors at events, but we are also ambassadors when we are studying in our sweatpants when the day ends. We eat together at fancy dinners, but we also grab lunch in the cafeteria between classes. The UM Ambassadors have become my second family, and they are the most genuine group of people. They are the first to fill a need, the first to encourage others, and the first to ask “what can I do?” Their dedication extends beyond the program and into daily life; there are many times they have helped me on some of my toughest days.

If you’re an ambassador, each day is different. Some days, we arrive at events in our freshly-ironed suits and heels, and other days, we drive golf carts in our khakis and tennis shoes. We can be found greeting our generous donors, giving campus tours, setting up chairs for graduation, and even taking care of real rabbits at the annual Easter Egg Hunt!

The supervisor of the UM Ambassadors program is Allie Ratcliff, director of alumni relations and community engagement in the Office for Advancement. I am thankful for her servant heart. Her dedication to the program is evident in the way she encourages us spiritually, brings us Chick-fil-A for lunch, and even invites us to her home for dinner!

I encourage every student to apply. Each prospective student is looking to feel connected, and you could be the reason why somebody decides to attend UM.

About the Author

Ashlyn Nichols

Ashlyn Nichols is a senior at the University of Mobile majoring in communications and minoring in French. She is an intern with UM’s Office of Marketing and Public Relations, and she works as the communications coordinator at Redemption Church in Saraland, Alabama. She was the 2018 Distinguished Young Woman in Missouri and competed in the national finals in Mobile, where she first visited the University of Mobile. Ashlyn is a UM Ambassador and on the UM tennis team. She enjoys hiking the trails on campus, playing the violin, and spending time at the beach.