Mel Cort ’23
For many of us, Lena Eckstine was the first Mercersburg face we saw when going through the admission process. As the assistant director of admission, adviser in Fowle, merit scholarship manager, and liaison to the White Key parent volunteer program, Eckstine’s bubbly personality, and kindhearted nature are always on display. Eckstine began her 17 years of dedication to the Mercersburg community as a staff member, then earned her degree while working, and eventually was promoted to a faculty position. After this feat of determination and impressive display of ability, she will be stepping back from her roles on campus.
“I love talking to her when I come to sign in because she’s always so friendly and excited to be there,” says Folake Okunsanya ’22, prefect in Fowle. “It’s really refreshing.” This sentiment is shared by many in Fowle, who admire Eckstine’s indefatigable enthusiasm and willingness to listen, even on busy weekend nights.
“She’s been such an incredible advisor. Ms. Eckstine has helped me through all sorts of challenges, and I’m sure that my Mercersburg experience would’ve been drastically different without her,” reminisces one of her advisees. “I really can’t thank her enough for her support and humor.” The impact that Eckstine has had on dozens of students and colleagues throughout her time here is immeasurable.
Among all of her years at Mercersburg and the beautiful memories that were created around her, Eckstine decided to share one in particular. “One special moment was during a 12-degree and snowy day run on back campus. I was stopped in my tracks to stare at the view of the chapel. I felt completely warm inside because I knew that Mercersburg was where I was meant to be.” Even though she is off to new adventures, Eckstine’s voice will always find a spot in the loud swelling cheers of the alma mater.
Although she will no longer be a constant face on campus or behind the duty desk in Fowle, Eckstine won’t be far. She’s planning on working full time as the business owner behind the town’s favorite One North Coffee and Bake Shop, a popular study and hangout spot for students on Main Street.
The shop, a self-described “local spot to enjoy delicious coffee, tea, baked items, and great company” is filled with inspiring art and exciting conversation. “I hope I get to see you all downtown next year!” encourages Eckstine.