Nathan Tappen Headshot

Nathan Tappen

Catholicity Is My Ambrosian Value

Class of 2021

“When you are in college you really start to figure things out.”


Nathan Tappen was undecided on a major when he became an Ambrosian in 2017, but “undecided” is OK. We offer more than 60 undergraduate majors, and Nathan was eager to explore. “I like the academic programs SAU offers, and maybe what I want to do in the future will be inspired by a class I take.”

Home Town: Crystal Lake, Illinois


Nathan attended Catholic schools in a Chicago suburb and from an early age was helping his peers, community and church. He tutored and mentored underclassmen, volunteered at a local food bank and with Feed My Starving Children. Nathan also plays the drums and was active in various music programs. We made college more affordable for Nathan and his family, awarding him a full-tuition scholarship for his leadership and achievements.

Why SAU?

Comprehensive Focus

“I heard about SAU by chance, looked into the university and I liked what I saw. I prefer a small- to medium-size campus and the Catholic aspect was important to me,” Nathan says. St. Ambrose is independent, diocesan, and Catholic, and we enable students of all faiths to develop intellectually, spiritually, ethically, socially, artistically, and physically.

Why does a Liberal Arts foundation appeal to you?


Nathan will learn so much more than textbook subject matter at SAU. For him, inquiry, discussion, and personal growth are equally important. “The liberal arts focus is nice because you are not just studying the surface of something, you are also looking at what is beneath, the ethics. You are not just taught how to solve a math problem--you are also taught to ask questions,” he says.

How does SAU embrace your values?


As a university community, we actively engage in service learning and volunteering, two things that resonate with Nathan. “It reflects the kind of thing I have always tried to do, to help others as much as I can. To know I found a university where I can easily continue to do that is a good thought,” he says. “A lot of people have helped me throughout my life and I am so blessed to have so many things and a comfortable life. It motivates me to help others.”


So, what's next?

Are you ready to take the next step? St. Ambrose offers more than 60 programs and 26 athletic teams and sports to join on campus. Become an Ambrosian today!