Wonderstruck: A Very Special Announcement

Monday, October 1, 2012 by Travis

Enchanted. Untouchable. Wonderstruck.

Just a few words, a few simple words, all with one thing in common. They are all Taylor Swift lyrics. Ms. Swift, as many of you probably know, is one of the most influential and popular country-pop artists of our generation. Since debuting in 2006, she has won 6 Grammy Awards, 10 American Music Awards, 7 Country Music Association Awards, 6 Academy of Country Music Awards, and 13 BMI Awards. She has gone platinum a stunning 22 times, with 22 million albums sold along with 50 million song downloads.

Along the way, she has stolen America’s heart, and garnered a fan base numbering in the millions worldwide. Her down-to-Earth, self-written lyrics along with her undeniable charisma and compassion for her many charitable efforts (including arts education, children’s literacy, and natural disasters, to name a few) are to blame for this.

One of her biggest fans is a student here at Harvey Mudd College, and if it isn’t creepy enough, that person is speaking about himself in third person right now. Yes, I confess, I am the self-proclaimed Taylor Swift super-fan of Harvey Mudd College, and I have the proof!

My dorm room, half covered in Taylor Swift posters.


A picture from a concert of hers that I went to at Staples Center in LA, in April of 2010.


Yes, that is me (about 3 inches shorter than I am now) with Taylor Swift, backstage at her concert at Staples in LA, April 2010. I nearly fainted!

As you can see, I meet the requirements of a super-fan. This meeting above is what did it for me, as I learned while getting to talk to Taylor Swift that she is in fact a hockey fan! My friends constantly like to poke fun at me for my seemingly girly love for her music, but I don’t care! If there is one thing that Mudd has taught me, it’s that you never have to be ashamed of your interests. There are always people out there who get it (like my best friends here, who are both guys who are huge Taylor Swift fans).

Now, you might be wondering why I am explaining all of this. Well…


Yeahmoon Hong, a fellow Mudd sophomore, and I found out about a contest called “Taylor Swift on Campus,” put on by Chegg, CoverGirl, Papa John’s, American Greetings, and VH1. It involved voting daily for your school to try and win a live, acoustic concert at your school from Taylor Swift herself, as well as $10,000 for your school’s music program. Well, with the strength of Mudd behind us as well as many students from the other 5 Claremont Colleges, we have been notified that we have won the competition! Here is the proof:

It’s too good to be true!


Here is the direct link, in case anyone is curious: http://www.taylorswiftoncampus.com/

Although nothing more has been announced yet aside from the fact that Mudd has accepted the offer and will host Taylor Swift, the campus is buzzing. Mudd, a relatively unknown college outside of academia, will be hosting one of the biggest stars in music in just two short weeks. This concert will go down in Muddlore, and I feel extremely lucky to be a part of it all.

In the past 9 months, I have had some rough times, including struggles in difficult classes and health problems. However down I would get, the outpouring of support I have received at this school is something I will never forget. Ten years from now, I will not remember getting a bad grade on that physcis quiz. What I will remember is the 2 hours Professor Lynn and Professor Saeta spent with me from 6-8 at night working with me on practice problems so I could go out and do much better on the following midterm. In 10 years, I won’t remember not being able to stand because my pulse was fluttering after trying to get back into exercising. What I will rememeber will be my friends, helping me walk back to my room and making sure I was completely ok. In 10 years, I won’t remember writing this blog post. What I will remember, is the everlasting memories that I will be making in two weeks, with all of these friends that I can’t imagine what I would do without, at a concert performed at the Claremont Colleges by my favorite musician. That, my friends, is something that I could never have asked for in my wildest dreams, and knowing that it is reality is beyond unbelievably exciting for me.

Although many of my friends here at Mudd are not as big of Taylor Swift fans, or even would consider themselves to be anything but a Taylor Swift fan (I know, crazy right), they heard about the contest and voted diligently in order to back up their friends. This common theme of support from friends and professors alike is something that has always been there for me in my time at Mudd, whether it was just someone to talk to about my problems, someone to play video games with on a slow Thursday afternoon, or someone to be excited with me whenever we as a collective, not as individuals, accomplished what at first seemed impossible but with hard work became a reality.

If that isn’t a community to be proud of, I don’t know what is. In the words of Taylor Swift: “Long live all the mountains we moved, I had the time of my life [voting for the contest with you]!” Ok, so the bit inside the brackets might be ad-libbed, but hey, we won!

Until next time,

Travis Beckman

PS. Cheney’s Puns and the Interview features will return in my next blog post, this was simply a special occasion.