Connor Morrey is a wonderful computer expert. He has strong opinions on college admission website servers and password security. He uses his knowledge to help his local library find discriminatory real estate deeds so that they can have them updated. He loves the science behind it all and he’s good at computers. He knows why they work and why they don’t. But once you get to know Connor, you realize he’s a Theatre kid through and through. He takes the skills and knowledge from his computer background and has learned to love the technical side of making theatre magic. His lighting designs influence the theatre experience in both subtle and overt ways, and only after you see his designs, you realize that light is an additional character. His parents, Drs. Ruth and Mark Morrey have seen this in Connor over his high school career: “Connor has always taken initiative to learn and investigate diverse passions and takes mastery and growth seriously.” says his mom Ruth.
Connor’s search started out as looking for Computer Science programs where he could still participate in Theatre as a non-major. His consultant remembers that changing after a visit to Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. Getting a chance to see the advanced lighting boards and all the various equipment that lighting designers get to use and work with was like seeing a whole other world. So Connor decided to apply to Carnegie Mellon as a theatre design major, with a focus in lighting design. His mom described the process as one of growth. “Connor’s self-learning, curiosity, and agency to pursue big dreams has always been so impressive to us. Connor has an insatiable appetite to learn.”
Connor’s consultant enjoyed seeing Connor’s enthusiasm and delight in the process as the months progressed. Conner even liked writing supplemental essays. From Connor: “The best part of my college search and the application process was definitely writing the supplemental essays, it gave me a really good opportunity to express my creativity and show the admissions counselors what kind of person I am.
Connor is really looking forward to diving into the CMU Drama School’s design program: I’m most looking forward to the amazing arts program at CMU, and I can’t wait to get started. Their program is almost entirely hands on, which is really important to me as I’ve realized that the best way to learn something is by doing it.
He has the following advice for students just starting the process: “Don’t stress out about it too much! It’s not worth sleepless nights, and you will love wherever you end up going. Remember to enjoy the process, and enjoy the time you spend in high school! Also, make sure to keep checking your college portals and to come prepared for any potential interviews or setbacks.” (His consultant is extremely happy that Connor checked his portals regularly).
His consultant always came away from their meetings marveling at how delighted Connor was when he would talk about his theatre shows and the many accolades his Mayo High School Theatre program would receive. One particularly impressive thing about Connor is that he was great at taking advantage of every opportunity that came his way. For example, a volunteer position at the Rochester Civic Theatre turned into a paid position once they realized all that Connor could do. Connor’s consultant loved seeing his focus on Theatre grow and after he completed his interview with the CMU lighting design faculty, he reported back that they could see the obvious joy and excitement in how he talks about lighting.
Joy is a word that comes up often with Connor, from his mom: “It has been a joy to see Connor nail every element of this college process starting with grades, then admission tests, then narrowing school options based on values and fit. It was wonderful to see Connor’s anxiety reduced through this process with his consultant at College Inside Track.”
Connor would like to thank his parents. “I really love how much my parents have helped me in this process, and I’m so grateful for all the work and support they’ve put in to make sure that I am able to achieve my goals. I would also like to thank all the adults in my life who have supported me and made me into the person I am today, my friends for getting me through challenges, both academic and personal, and my teachers, who always inspired me to be big and to follow my passions.”
Connor, we’re so proud of your efforts and your infectious joy about computers, life and theatre. We know you’ll make CMU a better place and will continue to make magic happen. Congratulations Connor!