Leelanau School Alumni Profile Gretchen Knoblock
Leelanau School Class of 1982
Years at the Leelanau School: 2
Degree in Interior Design
Purdue University, School of Engineering and Technology
How I Remember the Leelanau School
My most vivid memory was the drive up the main road on the first day. I was scared and nervous. I still remember what I was wearing, right down to my shoes. Some seniors were there checking us in and pointing us to the dorms, and as scared as I was, I think I also knew that this was going be the best experience of my life. The next year, I asked to be on that welcoming committee because I wanted to be that person who could help the new kids feel ok, and more at ease.
My favorite place was a large pine on the beach, surrounded by juniper. We figured out a way through the dense shrub to a clearing at the base of the tree. It was a secret little spot we’d go to talk about things; life, boys, struggles, plan our futures, we’d cry and giggle and it was a safe, special spot. And of course, the Crystal River…always a favorite. The best memories come from my wonderful, lifelong friendships made with people that share a special bond and experience like no other.
How the Leelanau School Impacted My Life
Mrs. Evans, my art history teacher was the first person to plant the seed and got me really interested in art and architecture and Mun got me interested in architecture. He’d take us on field trips to study barns…I complained all the way, but it stuck with me anyway. After graduating from the Leelanau School, I went to Ball State to study interior design but didn’t finish. I went back to college at 39 years old to finally get my design degree, which is one of my proudest accomplishments.
The Leelanau School had huge impact on my life. Today, I’m motivated by simple pleasures (hiking, sitting on the beach reading a book, riding my bike to breakfast, and full appreciation of the great outdoors), the uncomplicated quality of life that comes from living in a small but vibrant town and my work. I get to be my own boss doing exactly what I always wanted to do….that’s plenty worth getting up every day for!