Gustie of the Week: Charlie Stokes

Anyone who knows Charlie also knows that “goofball” is his middle name. Vinny Bartela
Anyone who knows Charlie also knows that “goofball” is his middle name. Vinny Bartela

Everyone knows the Gustie Greeters as being outgoing, caring, and maybe just a little bit crazy. Third-year Greeter and Senior Physics major Charlie Stokes is no exception. In addition to being the Greeter Coordinator this year Stokes is a member of the Omega Kappa fraternity, Smash Club, Parkour Club, and the Society of Physics Students. Despite having a heavy course load Charlie always makes time for others on campus, including his fellow Gustie Greeters, fraternity brothers, and friends.

Although Charlie’s hobbies and interests range from playing video games to climbing trees all over campus, his true passion lies in being a mentor for others. Charlie’s talent for being a strong mentor while forming deep personal relationships is exemplified in his role as a Greeter as well as his love of coaching his former high school speech team and tutoring his fellow physics majors.

“Charlie is such a fantastically positive, supportive, and loving person and friend.  I’ve heard multiple students comment that he makes a great Greeter Coordinator because he is not an exclusive person or friend (he is “clique-less”).  He gets along with and unconditionally cares for everyone he meets,” Assistant Dean of Students Megan Ruble said.

“I got to know Charlie through Greeters, and I was just overwhelmed with his openness and kind heart,” fellow Greeter Bethany Schulz said.

While admitting that it is sometimes difficult to keep in close contact with all of his Greetees, Charlie still takes pride in watching them develop and always making himself available for advice, or even an afternoon of parkour.

“It’s always been fun to see my greetees grow into themselves as a college student and me helping to be a part of that journey for them is so special and wonderful,” Charlie said.      “Charlie is always willing to make someone smile or go the extra mile to help someone out. Also, as a Greeter he is able to shape the lives of incoming students in a very positive way, which he certainly did with me,” Junior Hayden Goldstien said.

In reflecting upon his decision to pursue the position as a Gustie Greeter, Charlie is reminded of his former position as a Speech Team Captain.

“In high school our speech team was really close knit, and when I came here, I was looking for a similar family that rooted you in one place and was just as strong of a support system. When I found Greeters, I found that kind of family that loved you and supported you and always boosted you up,” Charlie said.

Along with finding a “family” in his fellow Greeters, Charlie has made quite an impression on the student body.

“The first time I saw Charlie he was doing a raptor impersonation in front of Christ Chapel. From that moment forward I knew that Charlie loved to make people happy, and was a unique person, the type of person I would want to hang out with. He has brought an incredible amount of laughter and joy to my life,” Goldstien said.

Spending time climbing trees and going on walks in the arboretum keeps Charlie centered despite his busy schedule.  Vinny Bartela
Spending time climbing trees and going on walks in the arboretum keeps Charlie centered despite his busy schedule. Vinny Bartela

“He genuinely cares about everyone he meets. He has impacted my life by encouraging me to work on my weaknesses and empowered me to capitalize on my strengths,” Schulz said. “If I had to describe Charlie as a food, it would definitely be mashed potatoes because he is so comforting.”

Being that this is his final year at Gustavus, Charlie is focusing on enjoying his last year as a Gustie Greeter while building relationships that will last far beyond the limits of the hill. He also strives to continually look ahead to the future with a positive attitude and carry on the Greeter spirit.

“I feel like I’ve been built into a community here and a lot of the people I’ve interacted with have taught me a lot about myself. I want to do right by them and just continue to just be myself,” Charlie said.

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