2015 salutatorian Claire Potter
Receiving the Outstanding Student Award from Professor Gurdy Leete
(photo by Ken West)
In a Sustainable Living class with fellow students and Professor John Collins
Claire Potter — 2015 Salutatorian and Outstanding Student
“Claire is the embodiment of clarity,” said Media and Communications professor Gurdy Leete. “Her life is a work of art, in such a natural and spontaneous way, serving as a model for all of society and giving us such inspiration for the future.” Claire Potter was the 2015 salutatorian at Maharishi University of Management and the recipient of the Outstanding Student Award in the Department of Media and Communications.
Claire grew up in Portland, Oregon, working in the family business, New Renaissance Bookshop, selling spiritual books and gifts from around the world. Claire first visited MUM when she was 12, accompanying her brother Julian on a Visitors Weekend. At the time, she didn’t think she would ever want to come to Iowa. Eight years later, however, she returned for another Visitors Weekend and decided to follow in her brother’s footsteps, who had graduated in 2007. “I could feel how much love everyone had,” she said. “It was a very intuitive decision.”
Claire chose Media and Communications for two reasons: she wanted to apply her artistic skills in a practical way and also wanted to learn a trade that would benefit any cause or organization. During her media classes, she was able to work with people and businesses from the community, honing her client management skills. “You could see how what you were learning in the class translated into a career,” she said. “Media and Communications is really practical.”
In addition to gaining marketable skills, Claire also experienced personal growth at MUM. “TM gave me a lot of confidence,” she said. “It’s a confidence that is deeper than what you do and what you achieve — you know that no matter what, you are worthy and whole.”
Claire also likes to sing and play the harmonium. She participated in the MUM student choir and performed in cultural celebrations. She wants to stay in Fairfield and continue her growth in professional expertise as well as consciousness.
“When students come to this University they blossom in ways they never thought possible,” said Claire in her salutatorian speech. “I know because I have witnessed these transformations both within myself and within my friends, and I can assure you that there is nothing more beautiful.”