The ACT (American College Test) is a curriculum-based assessment of the college bound student’s knowledge of English, mathematics, reading and science. The three and a half hours it takes to complete the test is a labor-intensive struggle of memory and patience. Most students planning to attend an institution of higher learning are aware that they will likely take the ACT, or something similar, to be considered for enrollment on any university campus, and each year thousands endure the tense, sterile environments of quiet cafeterias and butcher-papered classrooms in order to place their names and their futures in the hands of college admissions staff all over the United States. This test is a big deal, so acing it is huge. It is very difficult to earn the perfect score of 36, and very few can say they have done so. Chris Wright happens to be one of them.
“I don’t want it to sound like I’m bragging or anything, but yes I made a 36,” Chris tells us reluctantly. “I prepared enough, but I didn’t do anything extra special. I took the test in the 8th grade and a few times in the years leading up to the time I got my final score. I got the official ACT book and took the practice tests and looked at the formula of the questions, the mistakes that I made and how to change the way I was approaching those questions. I barely finished each section but I worked all the way through. It seemed a lot harder than it apparently was.”
As a result of scoring so well, Chris could have gone to school almost anywhere he wanted. So what made him choose FHU over Ivy League? As with many who choose to come here, it was a combination of factors. Chris enjoyed its proximity to his hometown in Nashville; the small town atmosphere; the accomplished, yet approachable, faculty; the Christian surroundings and what he says is “the friendliest college campus I’ve ever visited.”
And because Chris chose Freed-Hardeman, he is receiving his education for free. “If I had gone to an Ivy League school I would have still been paying $25,000 a year after scholarships—that’s more than FHU with no financial aid. Freed-Hardeman is a much better value when you start shopping,” he said. Along with his scholarships from Freed, Chris is the recipient of the National Merit Scholarship and the Tennessee HOPE scholarship.
The most important reason for Chris’s decision, however, was his desire to be involved in mission work, an ambition that could be actively fostered at a Christian school like Freed-Hardeman. Chris has done mission work in Costa Rica and plans to travel to Honduras in the near future. As a biochemistry and Bible major, Chris is considering becoming a doctor and focusing his career on medical missions. He couldn’t think of a better place to receive training in both areas.
“I’m glad I chose Freed-Hardeman,” he said. “I think if I had chosen to go somewhere else I would be feeling the call to do mission work even more than medicine and would be completely lost about what to do . . . After talking with upperclassmen and professors who have degrees from big-name schools and then decided to come here, I realize I’ve made the right decision. I’ve got everything I need right here at Freed.”
Apart from making an impact in the world of academics, Chris has jumped right in to social life at FHU. He is a member of the Honors College and an alumni liaison for the Chi Beta Chi social club. Chris is also currently teaching English to a Hispanic family through the Spanish Club and is leading a Bible class for 12-13 -year-olds at Bethel Springs Church of Christ. Though Chris is one of very few individuals who hold a 36 on the ACT, he is one of thousands touched by the Christian environment at Freed-Hardeman. Whether he is studying or socializing or taking part in a very serious snowball fight, Chris Wright knows he is at home at Freed-Hardeman.