By: Kurtis Brown, senior
From the first time I stepped onto campus at the University of Richmond on August 15 (yes, August) going into my freshman year, I knew I was beyond blessed to attend and have the opportunity to play baseball at such a great school. My journey to the University of Richmond was a little bit different than most, as I was committed to a different school in a state across the country. Things fell through, I had to act quickly and I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to play baseball at the University of Richmond. That was the best decision of my life. I travelled across the country into a state I had never been before and attended a school that I barely knew anything about, yet everybody there was so welcoming and willing to help a scared kid from the cornfields of Illinois. But that scared kid wanted to be challenged, wanted to compete at the highest level, and wanted to take advantage of every opportunity he could.
I knew immediately that Richmond was the place for me. The red brick buildings, the towering oak trees, rolling hills and gorgeous lake separating the two sides of campus coupled with luxurious Robins Stadium and cozy Pitt Field were enough to draw a wide-eyed kid like me in. My first semester was a huge transition point in my life and I truly began to establish my identity.
Fast-forward four years, through countless hours of practice, lift, and late-night study sessions and it’s hard to believe it’s all coming to an end so soon. I remember the first night of orientation being told in Robins Stadium by then-President Ayers “You’re going to look back on this night in 4 years and wonder where the time went” and he couldn’t be more spot on. Our coaches tell us every year to play each game like it’s your last, and as cliché as it sounds, it’s the best piece of advice I’ve been given. All of the great values instilled in me at Richmond can be attributed to a coach who is willing to meet me at 9pm after a long day to work on my swing, or a professor who will meet me for another cup of coffee to help me learn more about efficient markets.
Richmond taught me that helping others isn’t just a courtesy; it’s a duty. The relationships I’ve forged here will endure for life and the lessons I’ve learned will always be with me. I’ll never forget ‘freshman idol’ in the locker room, hanging out in the atrium at the business school with my fellow teammates talking about our unknown futures, and the countless road trips and laughs I’ve had with my teammates. Richmond gave me this opportunity and I’m forever grateful for it. Not only was a wide-eyed kid challenged in every way, shape and form; that kid was given the opportunity to succeed in life. I’ve accepted a job in the financial services industry with a start date in August (barring any potential pro prospects), and I know I never would’ve had this opportunity if I hadn’t come to this school.
The last 4 years have flown by but I wouldn’t trade them for anything. And if I’m lucky enough, maybe even my future children will be Spiders. Roll ‘Ders.