Tag Archives: Alumnus

Major Linfield alumnus, supporter passes away

Kathryn Devore / Staff writer

On Thursday, Jan. 23 2014 Theodore J. Day passed away. Day was a continuous supporter of Linfield College through his time, passion, and resources.

Day graduated from Linfield College in 1971 as an alumnus he wanted to continue supporting Linfield, the college that helped to make his future bright when things looked gloomy.

Believing that Linfield College was one of the best Liberal Art Colleges, he supported the school in any way he could after graduating. By encouraging donations from his family’s charities, Day was able to give back to Linfield in appreciation for the education that the college gave him.

Acting as one of the longest serving members on the Board of Trustees he gave a gift of $3 Million to renovate Northup Hall, which was the library before Nicholson. In 2010, upon completion, the Board of Trustees decided to rename Northup Hall to T. J. Day Hall in his honor. This was, and still is the largest gift made by any living individual.

In 1972 Day became a member of the Board of Trustees. During this time there he rose to vice-chair of the board.

Life was not always so successful for Day. During his first semester of undergraduate he attended New England College, but struggled to find his footing. As a result, Day was unhappy with school and did not attend the following semester at New England College. None of the 12 schools he applied to accepted him due to his poor grades.

Tom Meicho, Linfield’s Dean of Admission at the time, thought differently. Meicho looked at Day’s file a second time, and despite the non-exemplar grades still saw Day’s potential. He decided to give Day a second chance. After successfully passing two summer courses, Day was admitted as a Linfield Wildcat.

As a student, Day was well known on campus. Many knew him for his yellow 1970 Hemi Superbird he used to race to Portland at top speeds. Some knew him for the trained monkey his roommate had. Others knew Day as the guy who melted the recently installed speed bumps.

Although Day did enjoy a good time he also praised the education he received at Linfield.

Day once said, “The college and Tom Meicho gave me the break of my life, when all the other colleges on the West Coast said, ‘No.’ It is what I needed at that point in my life – a small, tight-knit place where I could have good relationships with professors and advisors.”

As you sit down in Walker Hall for a lecture take a moment to recognize Day, the man who helped make that building possible.

Kathryn         Devore         can                 be                   reached        at                                             linfieldreviewnews@gmail.com.

Linfield alumnus shoots for German team

Stephen Dennis, class of 2011, has done more within the first year of his post-undergrad life than most. Rather than applying for graduate school or seeking a job, after graduating Linfield with a major in creative writing, Dennis opted for the ambitious and seldom-trodden road of pursuing a professional basketball career in Germany.

“I wanted to see some of the world; it seemed that basketball and academia were two viable options for doing just that,” Dennis said. “While I’m pretty confident at this point that I’ll be going back to school to prepare for a career in teaching, I think at the college level, I recognize that there is a limited window for me to pursue basketball.”

Dennis has played the small forward position for the UBC Tigers, a team hailing from the northern German city of Hannover and a part of the Bundesliga ProB League’s Northern Division. His present status on the team is somewhat up in the air.

“I found out right before I headed over that my paperwork, like my passport and all that, didn’t go through before the league’s trade deadline, which operates much like the deadline we have for our pro sports,” he said.

While there have been difficulties thus far, the Tigers have tried to sign him and there remains much possibility for the next season.

This said, the UBC Tigers are doing well, having finished first in the regular season, which is exclusively teams from the Northern Division, they are now moving on to the playoffs and facing off against teams from the Southern Division as well.

“We won our first playoff series against a team from the Southern Division. If we win our current series we will be in the semifinals for all of Germany.”

While the rules of basketball are universal worldwide, Dennis made it clear that in many aspects the atmosphere surrounding the sport in Germany gives it a different vibe.

”A lot of the fan participation seems to be inspired by soccer culture. They show up drunk, wearing team scarves, bang on drums, whistle incessantly and sing songs that make fun of the other team.”

The fan participation is not the only notable difference. While basketball courts in the U.S. are traditionally made of wood, many courts in Germany are not constructed solely with basketball in mind, but are rather multipurpose courts used for other sports, such as Germany’s handball.

With this being the case, basketball courts in Germany are often made out of a rubber composite, which can be quite a change for a player from the U.S.

“You get used to it quickly, but it’s a bit of a shock the first few times,” he said.

While Dennis’ future holds much potential, his eyes are not only set on a career in sports.

“For the next few years, I plan on pursuing professional basketball as a career before settling down in a city and working toward either my MFA in poetry or my Ph.D. in literature. However, before I commit to a three to five year program, I’d like to visit some countries and see how people are doing life in other parts of the world. Basketball has been a wonderful vehicle for doing just that, and I intend to continue in that vein for the next few years.”

At this point, Dennis is occupying himself with preparation for next season.

“I’m going to continue training back in McMinnville while waiting to hear from teams,” he said. “We’ll see what Hannover has to say in the matter. I loved my time there and would seriously consider returning there for the next season if they offered me a contract.”

Nick Kintop/Staff writer
Nick  Kintop can be reached at
linfieldreviewsports@gmail.com.

Linfield alumnus goes professional

K.C. Wiser, class of ’11, winds up for the pitch in his only game of the 2011 season. Photo courtesy of E.C. Mueller.

With graduation not far behind him, former Linfield student K.C. Wiser was drafted to the Texas Rangers organization during the 50th round of the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft. The 2011 Linfield College graduate received the news on June 8.

Playing for Linfield since he was a freshman, Wiser was an all-around athlete and also a key player for the Wildcats’ basketball program. Due to an injury to his ulnar collateral ligament, his baseball season ended early and he had to get surgery in 2009. Despite the injury, Wiser was still able to play a small part in his season senior year, only participating in six innings. In those six innings, Wiser had six strikeouts and ten walks.

With all the hard work he put out during his college career, he explains the differences in professional baseball and college ball.

“Professional baseball is different than Linfield baseball in a number of different ways. In professional ball you obviously have just one focus: the game. At Linfield, you have to worry about when you will have time to type that paper, research, study for that test and then also baseball. The main focus is clearly different. One is to get an education, the other is to get better at whatever position you play,” Wiser explained in an email. “Another difference is the intensity of the coaching. Not to take anything away from the coaching at Linfield, but I had two pitching coaches devoted to just pitching and helping us get better. Baseball and developing players is their main focus all day long.”

Though the pro level of baseball is very different from that of his Linfield career, Wiser said that it did prepare him.

“Linfield baseball prepared me for the draft since I had a lot of downtime at Linfield. In being a reliever as opposed to a starter, like I had originally come to Linfield as, I had to get adjusted to the uncertainty of if or when I was going to pitch,” he said. “In the level I was playing at for the Rangers, I had an idea of when I was going to pitch, so all the extra downtime wasn’t much of a problem.”

With the success of being drafted, Wiser passes on his words of advise to other baseball players who hope to play professionally someday. His advice has words of encouragement and reminds athletes to just have fun.

“The advice I’d give aspiring baseball players is to never get down on yourself and try to keep things in perspective. Avoid being too high and avoid being too low on yourself in regards to how you play. If you have the ability
someone will find you. Also, enjoy your time at Linfield since the guys
on the team are there for you regardless.”

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Kaylyn Peterson/Sports editor
Kaylyn Peterson can be reached at linfieldreviewsports@gmail.com.