The Real Mr. Immaculata

If the Mr. Immaculata contest were still held, this year’s crown would certainly be bestowed upon James Wier ’16, the epitome of what a great Immaculata student is and what he or she can become.

Knowing almost everyone on campus is a “big deal” to Wier. As a prospective student touring the beautiful campus over four years ago, he was amazed by the fact that everyone knew his tour guide (Alyssa Gonzales ’14). Now, serving in that same capacity, Wier is the one everyone greets.

However, his college experience didn’t begin that way. Wier admits that during his freshman year he felt lost. He had made only a few friends and was working full-time in the Office of Career Development on campus.

“Then one day, Mike Gallagher, who was working with NSO [New Student Orientation] at the time, ran into me in the hallway—didn’t really even know who I was—and invited me to start having lunch with him and the other NSO leaders who were working full-time on campus as well. That was one of my first real, solid groups of friends on campus.” He continued, “It was that one moment when I said to myself, ‘Maybe next year is going to be a better year.’” Wier is extremely grateful that Gallagher, Class of 2014, took him under his wing.

In fact, Gallagher noticed Wier’s leadership qualities early, and when Gallagher graduated the following year, when Wier was a sophomore, he offered Wier all of his leadership positions on campus, including president of the Student Government Association (SGA). Wier joked that Gallagher told him, “You have to take it! You’ve been learning from me all year and you don’t even know it.”

“Early as a first-year student, James connected with senior student-leaders and learned from upperclassmen about how to be an effective student-leader,” commented John D. Stafford, Ed.D., vice president for Student Development
and Engagement and dean of students. Stafford noted that Wier is paying it forward. “He is now, as a senior, modeling those same traits to first- and second-year students.”

When Wier began his last year of college this past fall, he reflected back on his time at Immaculata and the first friend he met on campus: Owen Logue ’15. Wier laughed when he remembered his first encounter with Logue and explained how they became friends. “I walked up to him and said, ‘Dude, every girl here on campus loves you. Teach me your ways!’ I literally said those words to him and, since then, we’ve been extremely close.”

In fact, Logue also encouraged Wier to get involved on campus and invited him to become a member of the Mac Pack, the University’s mascot team. Having a fondness for performing and having always wanted to be a mascot, Wier dutifully portrayed Mac for three years.

“I know we say it all the time, but you’ve got to get involved,” Wier stressed. He is also adamant about following through on your commitments. He is an active member of multiple clubs, organizations and committees on campus, including SGA, student ambassadors (tour guides), First Year Experience mentors, Cue and Curtain Theatre, InUnison (acapella group), Lambda Pi Eta, NSO, Campus Ministry, and the English/Communication Club. In addition to these activities and school work, he volunteers his time in the TV broadcast studio, writing for The Immaculatan, and, of course, performing as Mac.

Campus officials also recognize his commitment to Immaculata and have asked him to serve on the Strategic Agenda and Planning committee and the Mission, Vision, and Culture task force. And, believe it or not, Wier follows through on every commitment that he makes. “I don’t know how he manages all that he takes on,” commented Logue. “But it will only make him more prepared for what is in store for him in the future.”

“It is so cool to know that you’re the ‘go-to guy’—the first person that comes to mind,” he stated, partially in reference to being “nominated” to edit a video for the Business and Accounting Department. With Digital Communications as his major and minors in Marketing and Film Studies, Wier has gained valuable hands-on experience operating the equipment in the broadcast studio, and he is the “go-to guy” for editing the raw footage as well. He completes these duties in his off-hours, pro bono.

Once he graduates, Wier would like to pursue a career at a graphic design
or advertising firm or do film and editing work. Of course, his dream job is to become a TV or movie actor. He loves performing and being around people. For the fall production of Cue and Curtain, Wier played Gomez in The Addams Family and has enjoyed playing in both the fall productions and the spring children’s theatre performances.

Sister Monica Sicilia, IHM, instructor in Information and Digital Systems and one of Wier’s professors, stated, “He was never afraid to try new things, and it showed how much he valued learning.” Sister added, “I could always count on him to participate and get things rolling.”

One of his most important roles on campus is as an admissions ambassador, providing tours of campus to prospective students. Both he and his twin brother, Joe, who is also a senior at Immaculata and is majoring in Finance, serve as ambassadors. Knowing how influential the tour—and the tour guide—can be, Wier states that he tells families at the end of the tour, “This has been my home for the last four years—thanks for letting me share it with you!”

“I feel that Immaculata is a part of me,” he states. He wonders how he is going to leave the University.

“James takes to heart the student charge of ‘leaving a legacy’ in leaving Immaculata better than he found it,” Stafford commented.

“Thank you to my Immaculata friends, family, and community for their constant support and encouragement, because without them I wouldn’t be the man and the leader I am today,” Wier said.

Author: aduncan

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