One could say that John Ravitz has experience navigating higher education institutions and the world of academia. Three of Ravitz’s four children currently attend college, and his fourth child is about to decide where he will attend in the coming fall. Given his insight, we asked Ravitz about the experience he has had with Elmira College, where his son Harry Ravitz ’23 is majoring in Business Administration.

Why Elmira College?
Harry chose Elmira College. He wanted to continue to play basketball and EC, being an NCAA Division III school, was a great way for him to be a student-athlete. In his senior year at high school, he visited the school and spent time with the coaches and players on the basketball team. He felt comfortable and the team players told him great things about Elmira College. Also, walking around campus, the College just seemed like a very good fit.

For all of our kids, we think college is such an important four years of their life. We wanted Harry to be able to envision himself at a school like EC, a place where he could be himself. Elmira checked all of those boxes for him and for us.

From your perspective, how has Harry benefitted from his experience at EC?
Harry benefited from teachers that really challenged him and gave him an opportunity to study subjects that he didn’t previously have familiarity with. He started as an Education major but after he began taking required business classes, he decided to change his major in his second year. That’s a testament to his advisors and teachers who opened a whole new interest for Harry, which I think is very exciting.

Also, when you are a student-athlete, the first thing you need to learn is time management. That is one of the lessons Elmira College taught him. That was true even in the summer because you can’t just sit back when the coaches expect you to be in better shape when you return in the fall. Harry’s commitment to that has been important.

Ultimately, he has become more confident in who he is as a person. He’s learned a lot of leadership skills. And the most important thing to me, he’s building a network of friends he will have for the rest of his life.

What would you want other parents to know about EC and the experiences they can expect?
EC is a nurturing environment. It’s a school that will challenge students, but also give them a lot of support and encouragement. That’s what parents are looking for. Again, giving students opportunities to grow, giving them leadership skills, and - in Harry’s case - the ability to continue as a student-athlete.

Harry’s younger brother is considering Elmira College as well. He wouldn’t have applied to EC if he hadn’t seen firsthand what Harry gained over the last four years.

Is there anything else you would like to add about the EC experience as a parent?
Beyond what we thought would be the case when we dropped Harry off for orientation, Elmira College has given Harry different opportunities and many possibilities that will help him in the future. That only happens when the professors are challenging their students and when students can make friends that will be there for life.

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