Major: Book Arts and Graphic Design
Definitely the professors. Each professor is such an individual, so passionate and knowledgeable, and seems to genuinely care about their students.
Also the print shop and the book arts program; the shop has big beautiful presses, a cool, generally quiet atmosphere kind of tucked away where you can go to make prints and books (a very rare program indeed) but also study, do homework, be alone, sing, brainstorm for your next project, or just think. Access to new Mac computers, a wide-format printer, and latest CS programs was also invaluable!
The range of art history classes was awesome as well and always changing! There was something for everyone in the art history program.
Think outside of the box. Let your creativity take over! Don't be confined by the constructs of what has already been done or "the right way." Building blocks and basic concepts are very very important but they aren't the only things – just sturdy cornerstones to build your portfolio on.
Also: push yourself. Don't let money stop you. You can always find a way to make things work. It might not be exactly what you wanted to use or what you thought you would be working with but you can make it work.
There are so many! I miss Ambrose so much. But one of my favorite memories would have to be the carnival-themed open house we had in the print shop. Everyone dressed up: the dancing bear, the ring leader, the bearded lady, the Siamese twins, the baby tiger. Ee all worked really hard and had a lot of fun.
Then there was the first steamroller event. That was so cool – being part of something brand new at Ambrose and learning as we went.
Another great: seeing the amazing production of A Midsummer's Night Dream by the SAU Theatre Department (for free!) was amazing. I was blown away by the professionalism and creativity of the theatre kids.
Then there were the endless, all-nighters a few of us would pull through together bouncing around Galvin all night, being crazy and creative, asking each other's opinions. We grew really close in those hours from 7pm-7am night after night.
One of the biggest reasons I chose Ambrose was because of the small class sizes. I had attended the University of Iowa for one semester and just wasn't fitting in or making connections with anyone at school. At Ambrose, I formed relationships with my classmates and professors, knew most of the people in Galvin on a first-name basis, and had direct access to my professors for help, someone to bounce ideas off of, information, or just someone to talk to almost anytime of the day.
Dig in deep.
Support the department.
Participate in workshops.
Go to exhibits and openings at Catich.
Take advantage of visiting artists and artist lectures.
Put other things aside as much as possible and take in everything you can.
Learn as much as you can from the wonderful wealth of knowledge all of the professors have to offer.