Graduation Spotlight – Pardon Ndhlovu

Why did you choose Augusta University?

“I’m the first one from my family in Zimbabwe to go to college. At home, it was every kid’s dream to come to the U.S. because you’re coming for a better life. I came to Augusta University from University of North Carolina Pembroke because I got a scholarship to run in NCAA Division II. I reached out to the running coach at Augusta University to see what the program was like, and I knew it was the one for me.”

What did you enjoy most about your time at Augusta?

“I think the fact that it’s a small university makes it more personable. The professors I’ve had in my program, they know me by name and they are more interested in who you are as a person rather than just showing up and assigning a grade. They talk to you about life besides being a student, and I think that’s the best experience I’ve had college-wise. It’s also pretty diverse as well, in terms of where people come from, their different cultures, and they kind of mesh.”

What are the biggest differences between being in Augusta and being home in Zimbabwe?

“We’ve had tough times. The economy was very hard in Zimbabwe. It was really hard. So, you come to the U.S. and you’ve got running water, you know, and you’ve got food on your table that you don’t have to worry about because on a scholarship, everything’s paid for. It was relieving to know that life is better, but at the same time it was sad because I wanted it for my family.

It has been a great experience and opportunity that the U.S. has offered me through Cross Country and through running. Right now, I’m in a better position to help my siblings and my nephews go to school as well by helping sending money back home for food and for shoes.”

What do you plan to do after graduating?

“I plan to continue on as an assistant coach for the Augusta University Cross Country Team and I also plan to run for Zimbabwe in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.”

What advice would you give to incoming freshmen?

“Get involved on campus. There are events taking place on campus all of the time. When I first came here, I thought I was pretty shy, but I started participating and getting involved and there are so many opportunities here for people looking to find them. You just have to look.”

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Written by
Arthur Takahashi

Arthur Takahashi is Digital Media Coordinator at Augusta University. Contact him to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706–446–5128 or

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Written by Arthur Takahashi

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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