Making a Joyful Noise
“I’ve really appreciated the opportunity to get to know my professors more personally. And I feel like I’ve gained a lot of skills, particularly from classes that will help me after my time here at Central.”
— Gannon Oberhauser ’23
Hometown: Parkersburg, Iowa
Majors: Communication Studies
Scholarships: Journey Scholarship
Campus Activities: Admission Student Ambassador, A Cappella Choir, Students Against Sexual Assault, Cheerleading, Writing Tutor, Student Orientation Staff, Communications Office Intern
Career Goal: Enter the field of marketing or business, writing about sports or performing arts
Gannon Oberhauser ’23 has been singing from the moment he arrived at Central College. In fact, his love for the world of music began long before Central was even on his college radar. Now on campus, not only is he continuing to use his gifts in music and beyond, he’s finding himself singing Central’s praises, too.
After graduating from Aplington-Parkersburg High School in his hometown of Parkersburg, Iowa, Oberhauser was looking for a college experience that felt like home.
“I had a very difficult time figuring out where I wanted to go,” he says. “I was looking for something that had that smaller community aspect to it. After visiting other schools, along with my visit here, I knew this was somewhere I wanted to be. Central was perfect because it gave me the opportunity to still be involved in music as much as I wanted, but also allowed me to get involved in other opportunities that I never thought possible anywhere else.”
Oberhauser’s passion for everything music has led him to be involved in Central’s Chamber Choir, along with the A Cappella Choir.
“One of my favorite activities to be involved with on campus is being part of the A Cappella Choir,” he shares. “We have around 60 students in that select ensemble.”
“Coming in as a freshman, especially during 2020 and everything that transpired that year, being part of the A Cappella Choir was an easy way to make 60 new friends right away,” Oberhauser says with a smile. “We engage a lot outside of choir as well. It was a great way to quickly build community.”
That community building doesn’t stop for Oberhauser with his involvement in choir. He has found ways to build relationships and make an impact in other areas on campus as well. Social justice has been something he has taken an even greater interest in during his time at Central.
“I started my social justice work when a few of my friends and I started the Students Against Sexual Assault initiative on campus,” he says. “Central does a great job of allowing students to create their own clubs and organizations that fit the needs of students. With this initiative, we just really want to support survivors on and off campus.”
As a communication studies major, Oberhauser has enjoyed the way his courses have challenged him and, in turn, helped him grow. He’s also seen the benefit of having smaller class sizes that allow for more one-on-one time with professors.
“I’ve truly enjoyed my classes and the availability of my professors,” he says. “I’ve really appreciated the opportunity to get to know my professors more personally. And I feel like I’ve gained a lot of skills, particularly from classes that will help me after my time here at Central.”
Oberhauser has also made time in his busy schedule to be involved in the writing center as a tutor, working in the communications office, being part of the cheer team for football games, as well as a student ambassador during the summer.
“As a student ambassador, I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to give tours to prospective students who might live in or outside of the state of Iowa,” he shares.
A few of Oberhauser’s favorite campus life traditions include the annual Lemming Race where costumed students leap into the pond during Homecoming, Grocery Bingo that supplies some much-needed snacks to students in their rooms during the week and Fresh Cookie Tuesday when Central Market bakes their delicious fresh cookies.
Central’s off-campus opportunities have also been a big part of Oberhauser’s experience. During Summer 2021 he traveled with the A Cappella Choir to Argentina for two weeks.
“We sang in the most beautiful cathedrals I’ve ever seen,” he recalls. “That, along with just being part of the culture, was an amazing experience.”
“For my last semester here I’ll be studying abroad in Barcelona,” Oberhauser says. “I’m so grateful that Central offers these types of experiences. It’s something that attracted me to Central, and now I’m able to live it out.”
The incredible experiences and seemingly countless opportunities that Oberhauser has seen possible at Central are something he’ll forever be thankful for.
“I’m so grateful for the experiences I’ve had here,” he says. “Central gives students the opportunity to try so many different things. From building community to making new friends and allowing them to get as involved as much as they want in a sport or other activities that they’re passionate about.”