by Brianna Anderson
Andrew Coopman is not a religious fanatic by any means, but as he looks back at his path leading to Whitworth, he sees the hand of God that brought him here.
Coopman transferred from Judson University his sophomore year. At the time he was debating whether or not to return to Judson for another semester. But he was concerned about his future at the university with his chosen career path in theater. There were actually no theater majors offered, only communications with acting one. So Coopman began looking at other colleges. He did an online search and typed in all the ideal data for a perfect college; only three came up, Whitworth being one of them.
Coopman contacted Associate Director of Admissions at Whitworth, Celeste Lewis, the last week of August before the start of his sophomore year. On a leap of faith, he applied the very last day Whitworth was accepting applications. He waitlisted every class, had no financial aid and housing was not available on campus. But over the next week and a half suddenly all the classes opened up, the financial aid came through and a dorm became available.
“Whitworth is the perfect college for me. I cannot picture myself anywhere else,” Coopman said.
Coopman is currently majoring in Theatre Performance, focusing on Community Based Theatre, and English Literature. His passion for theater started in the 7th grade after he saw a production at his school. He became involved with CYT “Christian Youth Theater,” in high school. At 16 he was given the opportunity to TA for a theater class.
“I realized when I started teaching just how empowering theater is, in how it enables other students to realize their gifts and talents and to feel confident within themselves; to perform and glorify God in a way that they are able to,” Coopman said.
When Coopman decided he wanted to be a theater teacher, he thought he should teach something else as well, so he could improve his chances of getting a job. He soon realized he enjoyed the idea of being an English teacher after taking a Shakespeare course in high school. Coopman’s teacher inspired him and instilled a passion for teaching.
However just recently, he decided to switch his focus to teaching theater at the collegiate level.
“The moment where I knew I wanted to be a college professor was at the night I saw Eurydice,” Coopman said. “It was one of those click moments. College professors, they focus on teaching theater and they get to direct.”
Coopman is currently trying to get into the MFA program, “Master of Fine Arts,” to further pursue his dreams. Coopman’s philosophy is this, “every opportunity is a chance to learn something new.”