California Cardinals

Among the University’s undergraduate population, 60 students hail from the Golden State. In this summer series of profiles, we shine the spotlight on five students from the L.A. area to find what brought them nearly 3,000 miles from home, and how they are adapting to life on the East Coast.

From her Los Angeles suburb, Lizzy Rich has an expansive view of the Pacific Ocean. “I’m happiest when I’m at the beach,” she says. “I could sit there forever with my feet in the sand. It’s so peaceful. I see God’s vastness and beauty in the ocean.”

Rich heads to the ocean first thing when she is home on school breaks. Often she will stop first at a favorite beachside stand to get an acai bowl. “That’s my go-to meal. It’s bright pink [pureed acai berries] topped with whatever you feel like that day; avocado, granola, honey, kale, dark chocolate. Food is so fresh and healthful in California.”

Her love of Southern California extends beyond the beach. “Every terrain imaginable is accessible within an hour or two. You can surf in the morning and by afternoon be snowboarding in the mountains. If you are really ambitious, you could even fit in a hike.”

So what exactly brought this diehard California girl east? “Both of my older siblings went to college on the East Coast so it wasn’t a foreign concept,” says Rich. “It was my mom who suggested Catholic specifically. I had been on campus during a junior high trip to D.C., and she remembered how much I loved spending time in the Basilica.” 

Rich is majoring in marketing with a double minor in entrepreneurship and theology. She is not shy about her devotion to the Catholic faith. “I love my business classes because in everything we are learning, I don’t have to separate my faith. I would like to start a for-profit business that does good in the world; where my faith influences my business decisions.”

Rich has found her community on campus through activities such as the Ultimate Frisbee team and homeless food runs.

“I met my best friend right away my first year because she is from Michigan and neither of us could go home on weekends. We were both so far from home.” She says one of the perks of being a West Coaster is all the invitations she gets from friends who live along the East Coast. “I’ve been able to experience so many places beyond Washington, D.C. At the end of this semester a friend is taking me to the beach. I’m so excited to see the Atlantic Ocean!”