With 24 NCAA Division III varsity sports, abundant campus recreation and intramural programs, more than 120 student-run organizations, and dozens of on-campus events, Gettysburg College offers plenty of ways for students to stay active throughout the year.
Twin sisters Charlotte Lacey ’25, a health sciences major and neuroscience minor, and Greta Lacey ’25, a biochemistry and molecular biology major and neuroscience minor, both of Marriottsville, Maryland, appreciate the athletic, academic, and social opportunities that living and learning together at Gettysburg College provides them. The offer to play both field hockey and lacrosse, coupled with robust academic programs in the health sciences and on-campus social activities, supported their motivation to apply Early Decision to Gettysburg College.
Read more about these student-athletes pursuing their wide array of passions.
Why did you apply Early Decision to Gettysburg College?
Charlotte Lacey: “When Greta and I were looking at schools, we never planned to attend the same institution. It just worked out that we both were entertaining Gettysburg College and its athletic programs. I especially love the balance between academics and athletics that Gettysburg College offers, and the support from the coaches is incredible. Going to the same school as Greta is fantastic, and it is an opportunity many siblings do not get to experience together.”
Greta Lacey: “We committed by December of my junior year. As an athlete, I think there’s that extra level of excitement—you’re committed for the sport. You’re so excited to finally go to college; you do tend to look at college a little earlier. I think we were just so ready. While we looked at other schools, we did not apply anywhere else. Just meeting the coaches and the teams, Gettysburg College felt like somewhere we could picture ourselves. We’ve always done everything together. Here, we can play two sports, which is awesome. We have that small school environment where you know your professors, and the academics are really vigorous. I feel like Gettysburg just had the balance of everything.”
How did the ability to participate in two sports factor into your decision to attend Gettysburg College?
Charlotte: “Playing two sports in college is truly the biggest opportunity that Gettysburg has offered me. When we both were offered spots to play on the field hockey and lacrosse teams, it was almost immediately that we chose Gettysburg. I also have the ability to be involved in other activities aside from sports, like being in a sorority—I am a newly initiated member of the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority—or pursuing a challenging major. At Gettysburg, I have been given the ability to pursue what I want with immense support and guidance that I do not think I would receive anywhere else.”
Greta: “I knew that at Gettysburg I would be able to pursue everything I had a desire to—both sports and academics. At a lot of schools, it is difficult to pursue one sport with a STEM or pre-medicine major. Doing two sports while studying pre-med is unheard of, but not at Gettysburg. I was never told, ‘No, you can’t do that’ here. Because of that, I have been able to do everything I wanted to while at Gettysburg—two sports, pre-med, and joining a sorority.”
What did you find most appealing about the health sciences at Gettysburg?
Charlotte: “Gettysburg’s health sciences program appealed to me for many reasons, including the alumni network and the opportunities the program offers. Specifically, the opportunity for research outside the classroom and during the school year. Many athletes I met during the recruiting process shared with me the flexibility of being a science major while participating in athletics, which made Gettysburg all the more desirable. Knowing that the health sciences program would support my pursuit of athletics while additionally helping me strive for success in the classroom made the College even more attractive.”
Greta: “I loved the close professor-student relationship at Gettysburg. I know all my professors, and they know me by name. I know I can always go to them for help and advice. The student research opportunities at Gettysburg are very unique. At Gettysburg, there is the Cross-Disciplinary Science Institute (X-SIG) summer research program that offers very unique intense undergraduate research. Additionally, there are also research opportunities that occur year-round in professors’ personal labs. These personal relationships and unique experiences allow for an amazing pre-medical experience at Gettysburg that I can’t get anywhere else.”
How do you stay organized and balance your academic and co-curricular activities?
Charlotte: “By playing two sports, my schedule is very busy. During the day, I have limited hours to complete my work, but that little time allows me to buckle down and get my work efficiently completed and on time. I use a planner to help organize when my assignments are due and when my exams and labs are.”
Greta: “Being a biochemistry and molecular biology major is not easy. Prof. Kate Buettner and Prof. Shelli Frey in the chemistry department helped me work out every single kink in my schedule so I would have no issues with my athletic and academic conflicts. They helped me move lab sections and plan out my schedule so I would have the least conflicts. Our coaches are flexible and understanding with lab schedules. There is never any penalty for missing part of a practice due to a lab. My sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi, is super understanding. It’s just communicating and planning everything out. I have a very full calendar I’m constantly updating on my phone and agenda book.”
Looking ahead, what do you hope to accomplish during the next two years at Gettysburg?
Charlotte: “Within my final two years at Gettysburg College, I hope to challenge myself academically in areas where I am pushed out of my comfort zone and possibly entertain studying abroad. I have also had friends who have participated in the summer research programs offered here, which I may be interested in completing. There are so many opportunities that I have yet to discover, and I have no doubt that Gettysburg will be able to lead me successfully into all of them.”
Greta: “I’m definitely interested in getting involved in research opportunities—like X-SIG, which I am looking at doing potentially this coming summer. There are lots of research labs that are ongoing during the year.”
What do you hope to do after graduating from Gettysburg?
Charlotte: “After graduating from Gettysburg, I hope to pursue a career in physical therapy. I have seen how the physical therapy world operates, and I think I will be very successful in that field. I decided to pursue physical therapy because of my experience with athletic injuries, specifically ACL tears. I have seen firsthand how injuries like this have caused major setbacks for athletes, and I would love to be able to give back and help them recover. So far, Gettysburg has helped set me on the path to achieve this goal.”
Greta: “I am still not sure what type of medicine I want to study or the exact path I want to take, but I have always been interested in the medical field and have known I wanted to go to medical school since I was in high school. There are so many incredible classes at Gettysburg that dive into very interesting topics, like the X-Lab: Drugs and Cells, that I hope I can take my senior year. Gettysburg also has the option of clustering two of your classes and combining your interests between them. This year, I have enjoyed my work in the genetics lab for my genetics class looking at the effect of certain genes on the cellular stress response in C. elegans. My classes at Gettysburg have only confirmed my career path and my future interests postgrad.”
What would you tell prospective students who are thinking about applying Early Decision to Gettysburg College?
Charlotte: “Seize every opportunity Gettysburg has to offer and do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. College is a time for growth and experience. Sometimes putting yourself in uncomfortable situations will lead you even closer to success. College allows you to explore areas and learn things about yourself that you have never known.”
Greta: “Go for it. If you think that this is the right place for you, go for it. There are so many opportunities you can find here that you’re not going to find in other places. I am so happy with my decision to apply Early Decision to Gettysburg. I have met some of my very best friends, play on amazing teams, and have incredible coaches and faculty to help me through it all.”
By Corey Jewart and Michael Vyskocil
Photos by David Sinclair Photography