Name: Annie Kennedy ’09
Current job position (or additional field of study) and where:
Independent Singer/Songwriter, Nashville, Tenn. (Also has “day job” as a licensed insurance representative at State Farm in Nashville)
Why did you choose MU?
I knew I wanted to go somewhere with a commercial music major, and I had heard great things about the program at Millikin. I had also heard amazing reviews of the choir and knew that I wanted to sing in a high-caliber collegiate choir.
What activities did you participate in as a student?
I sang in Chamber Chorale Freshmen year and was a three-year member of the University Choir; also sang in madrigals and two jazz ensembles, Rebirth of Cool and Syren. I also held executive board positions with Up ’Til Dawn, the Newman Catholic Community and Sigma Alpha Iota.
Who was your most memorable MU professor and why?
Dr. Travis Stimeling. He had such a passion for music and history, as well as for his students. He was my adviser for my James Millikin Scholars Honors Project, and the time and care he spent with me on my research was invaluable. He was just one of those professors who you could tell loved his students and loved his job, and it was a joy being in his classroom!
What is your most memorable MU experience?
It was definitely the trip that University Choir took to China in 2008. The musical and cultural experiences we had on that tour shaped my outlook on life and music and inspired me to continue sharing my passion with others in the hope of promoting peace and understanding through the arts.
What is one concept you learned at Millikin that you use in your work regularly?
It takes a team to cultivate success. Surround yourself with people who compliment your own strengths and weaknesses. Any good choral singer will tell you that it takes the right blend of different voices to get the sound you want!
What do you enjoy most about your current job?
I absolutely love being a songwriter, because I love getting to share stories and experiences with others. My songs aren’t always my own stories, but they are always real and come from a very honest place. I love that each person you come in contact with is going to have different connections to different songs. It’s cool seeing universal concepts like love and life hitting home in very personal ways for the audience, and I love being able to experience those connections with them.
Where do you hope to be five years from now?
My goal in five years is to still be writing and performing, playing even more dates each year than I am now. I also hope to have a publishing contract, whether that is a staff writing position or single song contract.
What is a short piece of advice you'd give to current Millikin students about preparing for life after graduation?
Life doesn’t always follow the path you think it will, so take all the lessons you can from Millikin and apply them to whatever road you wind up on!
Want to be spotlighted as the "Young Alum of the Month?" We are seeking recommendations and self-nominations for outstanding young alumni who have demonstrated innovative and responsible professional leadership and have the potential for future success. Email Jaclyn Weisenborn '09, associate director of alumni engagement, with a short write-up of why you or your nominee should be considered for this profile. Please include a list of successes and achievements in your nomination, and attach a portrait or headshot (if available). One alum will be featured each month in MY Times.