Monday, November 16, 2009

Wildcat Family and the Importance of UA Alumni

Anyone who is given the opportunity to be an Arizona Wildcat becomes conscious of the fact that they are genuinely apart of the Wildcat Family. I am so thankful to be a senior at such a beautiful campus, attending an outstanding University in Tucson that has such immense history and tradition. Every alumnus at the University of Arizona always represents himself or herself to be role models and mentors for Wildcat undergrad students. My personal relationships with University of Arizona alumni have been ubiquitous through the majority of my life. Don Rae is my step grandfather and he has been a Wildcat alumnus from the time he graduated graduate school way before I was born. He pushed me to be a Jr. Wildcat in my childhood years growing up because I always had such love for college sports. Although my hometown was always surrounded by Sun Devil fans, I participated in U of A baseball camps for four years when I was in elementary school, which allowed the little Wildcat inside of me to grow more and more. The majority of the coaches that taught us at those weeklong Wildcat baseball camps were alumni and they always persuaded us how great the entire Wildcat experience at the U of A was for them and how it would be the same for us. Now I have attended the University of Arizona for almost three and a half years and I walk around my campus with my chest held high, proud to be a Wildcat and not a Sun Devil.

For this interview, however, I decided not to do an alumni report on my family member who only attended graduate school, but rather my pledge brother and good friend Blake Rorbach’s brother, Clark Rorbach. In this text, I will be describing an interview that took place during Homecoming week this year with one of my good friends who is now an alumnus. This report will include some very interesting and cool facts from the alumni himself, Clark Rorbach. It was very interesting to ask Mr. Rorbach a list of questions about his experience here at the University of Arizona because he just recently graduated in 2003. Clark became officially enrolled as an undergraduate student at this great University during the year of 1998. Clark came down to Tucson to check out the University of Arizona campus for the first time in 1997 with some buddies while he was a junior at Arcadia High School in Phoenix. He explained to me how the Wildcat spirit, from first time he set a foot on the University of Arizona campus instantly embraced him. “There was just something special about the U of A campus that was so much different from all the other campuses that I traveled to around the country,” said Clark. Another reason why he selected the UA instead of other Universities was because UA was in state (he wouldn’t have to pay out of state tuition) and UA was further away from home than ASU was when comparing distance. Nevertheless, the most important reason that Clark preferred the U of A was because his father is an alumnus at the U of A and he is also an alumnus at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. Clark told me that he had a legacy that he needed to continue here at the U of A, which meant everything to his father. Therefore, the only organization that Clark committed to was being the Homecoming Chair for Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s Homecoming events every year while he was an active. Last spring break I had the privilege to stay with the Rorbach family in Mission Beach, California for the entire week. I was able to get to know Clark and his father while I stayed with Blake and his hysterical dad and brother. After my time at their beautiful beach houses on Mission Beach, I learned how much a family could unite together because they all had such great experiences as a Wildcat. This vacation allowed the Clark and myself to become close friends because we had a fun filled week in San Diego surfing, partying, and hanging out at the beach.

Clark Rorbach graduated the University of Arizona with a Regional Development degree; in which, he pursued this major after he realized that the Eller College of Management was not the career path for him. His favorite class that he took while he pursued his Regional Development degree was Population Geography. He liked this class so much because it had to do with the amount of migration and immigration in US Census population as well as cultural aspects that shape the way we look at the world.

Clark lived on campus throughout his sophomore year while he lived at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house on 1509 E. 2nd Street. He told me many crazy stories and how Greek life at the UA was much different from when I lived in the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house my sophomore year. Clark explained how the bar known as, “Dirt bags”, was always the hot spot on campus and was his most favorite spot on campus other than the SAE house (especially when they through parties). I then asked the interviewee, “What was your most memorable and favorite day at the UA?” Clark responded, “I would say it would have to be Homecoming without a doubt.” I immediately asked, “What year was this and do you remember who the Wildcats played during this Homecoming week?” He answered, “Yes, it was in the year 2000 and we faced the Oregon State Beavers in a Pac 10 football game—it was one of the best days of my life as a student.” He then told me how his father, Mr. Rorbach, came down for this special Homecoming weekend and gave a speech in front of all his brothers at a brotherhood event that he would never forget. I found it so cool that his dad meant so much to him, his brother Blake, and the rest of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity because of the way he presented himself as a University of Arizona alumnus. Clark Rorbach told me that he wants to continue this legacy for his kids when they are Wildcats just like his father did for him and my pledge brother, Blake Rorbach. Because this legacy is so important to Clark and his family, he will always remain a loyal Wildcat for the rest of his life.

Clark will always be a brother to me because we are united through the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. This interviewee will always remain a friend to me for the rest of my life because of the times that we shared together. But most of all well will remain excellent friends because we are Wildcats for life no matter what job we work for or what state we live in. I am very fortunate to have been the interviewer for the Alumnus, Clark Rorbach, because my experiences and favorite memories are very similar. However, I have found many differences by creating this report because college life five years ago was much different than it is today. The University of Arizona has become much stricter towards the students then they used to be years ago. My own stories and memories are much different from Clark’s because they were allowed much more freedom, especially in Greek life. Whereas today, if I was to try to do some of the things that Clark told me that he did in the past, I would most likely be thrown in jail. I can personally attest the changes and the rules that have been forced on students by the school board from my own experiences. My experience as a pledge back in Fall 2006 was completely different than our pledge class this fall because of rules that are forced by the University of Arizona Police Department. Nevertheless, the University of Arizona still remains the best school and I am so relieved I made the final decision to attend this amazing University directly after high school in Tempe. I would not trade my experiences as a Wildcat for anything else because I hold my experiences close to my heart. I know that Mr. Rorbach, Clark Rorbach, and Blake Rorbach all feel the same way as I do after having bonding with them many times during my time here. Although I am not thrilled to graduate and enter the “real world”, I am very anxious to become a Wildcat Alumni so that I can become a mentor for those who are planning to or are attending the University of Arizona. I am so fortunate to have met the connections that I have already met at this attractive campus and look forward to reuniting with my best buddies later in life. Hopefully this course still exists five years from now so that I can be the interviewee for a Wildcat student!