Renee Bertrand

Year of Graduation: 
Renee Bertrand

“I’m happiest when working with others.”

Why Exeter?

I really wanted a place where I could grow, where I could do all the things that I love and be surrounded by other students who are super passionate. I lived in a town without a lot of diversity, so I wanted a place that would accept me and have a strong community, both culturally and academically.

Dorm Life

Exeter has “vertical housing.” That means in every dorm there are students of all grades. There's a strong mentorship that develops between the younger and older students. I am still incredibly close with the seniors from my freshman year. I talk to them all the time, even though they're well into college. Dorm life is one of the best aspects of Exeter.

What’s Exeter Really Like?

Exeter is not a place with a bunch of geniuses running around screaming about getting As on tests or anything close to that. It's a lot more about a community of students who love to learn, who have so many different passions and interests and who are dedicated and driven, but also really compassionate and kind.


Community service is really important to me. Exeter Student Service Organization offers over 60 clubs, all run by students. I’m a co-head of Big Sib, Little Sib, which is a mentoring club that matches up children in the community with Exonians based on attributes like race, family structure, interests and hobbies. The experience made me realize how important working with children is, so I became the children's coordinator on the ESSO board where I oversee the 32 different children-focused ESSO clubs on campus.

Multicultural Support

The Office of Multicultural Affairs is the hub for the different ethnic communities on campus. OMA has been a huge part of my life at Exeter from the very beginning. I’m the co-head of Transitions, which is a women of color affinity group on campus. I've been part of the group since my ninth-grade year and it's an honor to be leading it now. We focus on advocacy and education. I’m also the vice president of the Afro-Latin X Exonian Society. Both groups have been a home for me and have been there for me every step of the way.


Exeter has such a thriving art and music space on campus. There are so many different options for whatever level of musicianship you want. I started out doing Concert Band, which was the right fit for me my first year. The more I worked with my lesson teacher and started developing my French horn skills, the more I realized how much I loved it. I'm now in Concert Symphony and I hope to keep playing French horn in college.

What Have You Learned About Yourself?

Empathy is definitely something that students grow at Exeter. For me, that meant service work. I’m happiest when working with others. A lot of Exonians share that sentiment. I’ve grown a lot in the last four years and a large part of that is finding my community, finding connections between others and not really focusing so much on myself.