Panther Profile: Laura Van Peursem

Panther Profile: Laura Van Peursem

Written By: Gracie Murray (women's basketball)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.- Senior Laura Van Peursem (Huntsville, Ala./Randolph School) is a hardworking, determined, and goal-oriented individual. She is a two-sport student-athlete at Birmingham-Southern College while majoring in biology with a psychology minor. A four-year starter and three-time all-conference volleyball player, Van Peursem is also a four-year starter and all-conference basketball player.


Originally from Huntsville, Ala., Van Peursem is only an hour and a half away from her hometown. As an only child, this is convenient for both herself and her parents, making it easy for them to come to her sporting events when they are not working.


"My mom builds rockets and my dad is an architect for Nola|Van Peursem Architecture," she said. "Nola is the last name of his partner at the company. He mostly does schools, churches and commercial real estate. I love my parents. They are my best friends."


When asked what her favorite childhood memory was, she thoughtfully replied, "I have a god-family that lived with us for two years. I kind of had siblings for a little bit because I shared a room with three other people. My favorite memory was with my god-brother Robert. We had just gotten new hard wood floors. We put on Christmas stockings and slid across the floor all day. Nothing better."


For three years Van Peursem held an art minor while receiving a scholarship for qualifying sculptures she submitted to the college. She hopes to become a physician assistant after graduate school.


"I'm going to take a gap year and then go to PA school and get married," said Van Peursem.  "Ideally, I'd love to go to UAB for physician's assistant school." Adding, after school she would "like to go back to Huntsville or stay with UAB, but realistically I will go wherever [my fiancé] gets stationed. The military is the largest employer for PA's. I did not even have being a PA on my radar until I came to college."


Van Peursem actually came to BSC as a freshman in high school for a basketball camp. She was not entirely sold in her first visit to the hilltop. Four years later on a tour in her senior year, her mind was settled on BSC.


"I had narrowed it down to a few schools and the volleyball coach really caught my interest," said Van Peursem. "I came back my senior year and I really liked the community aspect of it. Everyone was just so nice and genuine. The academics were great. They had a 99 percent acceptance rate to med school the year before I came. I ­­really liked the liberal arts small class size too because I knew I would be traveling so much with sports."


During her time at BSC, Van Peursem has been a member of Alpha Omicron Pi sorority for three years, now in her fourth. She was on the academic committee for Alpha Omicron Pi from the spring of 2016 to the fall of 2017. She is a member of Alpha Epsilon Delta, a pre-health honors society, Beta Beta Beta, a biology national honors society, Order of Omega, which is the top 3 percent of BSC's Greek community, Psi Chi, a psychology honors society, and Mortar Board, which is a scholarship, leadership, and service honors society. She is also vice president of the pre-physician's assistant club at BSC. A three-time member of the Southern Athletic Association Academic Honor Roll, Van Peursem holds a 3.67 GPA. She plans to graduate this spring.


Rapid Fire

Favorite food?


Favorite Color?


Favorite holiday?


If you could vacation anywhere, where would you go?  
The beach.


Cat or dog person?


Did you have a dog growing up?
I had a dog name Git, when I was little. When she farted she would always leave the room. She would just leave you in the cloud. Louie is the dog I have now, he is a bichon frise. He's pushing sixteen though, but he runs the household. 


Who is your favorite sports team?
Lady Vols.


Outside of sports, what is your favorite thing to watch on TV?
Criminal Minds.


Who would you drop everything for to see in concert?


What show would you binge watch on Netflix?


What's on top of your bucketlist?
Go to the Netherlands, specifically Holland.


What is your favorite room in your house?
Our den.


One thing you couldn't go a day without?
My watch.


Did your parents play any college sports?
My dad played soccer for two years at Northwestern in Iowa. We also have a Van Peursem Hall at Northwestern named after my great-grandfather, because he left money in his will.