1. Tell us a little bit about yourself
I’m married to Amanda (Wolfe) Richard (Class of 2004), and we have two children, Cadence (14) and Isaac (10), whom we homeschool. I’m currently working as an IT Systems Specialist at United States Plastic Corp.
2. List some of your awards, achievements, honors you would like to highlight.
Two chapters published as a contributing author in Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell and Sean McDowell.
Graduated Suma Cum Laude from Biola University’s MA in Christian Apologetics program.
3. What made you choose to pursue a college education at Rio Grande?
There were two contributing factors. First, I love southern Ohio and the surrounding area’s scenery and atmosphere and was more than happy to spend four years in the area. Second, Rio provided an excellent scholarship program that contributed to me being able to graduate with very little debt.
4. How were you involved on Rio’s campus?
a. Two years on Student Senate
b. Four years in Grande Chorale and Masterworks Chorale
c. One year in Jazz Band and Concert Band
d. Two years as an RA
e. Founding member of ΑΗΩ
f. ΖΘΧ Little Brother
5. What did Rio offer you besides an education?
It offered a close knit community of friends and fellow students. It also provided the opportunity to travel through Grande Chorale tours and community concerts.
6. What are some of your favorite Rio memories?
a. During the Spring 2003 Grande Chorale tour we were able to perform at The Church of Saint John the Divine in New York City. On the same tour we did an impromptu concert on the auditorium floor while touring Boston Symphony Hall. Similarly, on the Spring 2000 tour we performed an impromptu concert after eating out at the Acme Oyster House in New Orleans while standing on our chairs to a packed restaurant.
b. Attending the Bob Evans Farm Festival was always a highlight. I worked several years with the Grande Chorale walking horses for the horse rides. The horses became less and less friendly as the weekend wore on, but the opportunity to get to know other students over the course of that weekend was always a blast.
c. Probably the best memory at Rio was meeting my wife and all the time we spent going to activities, her track and cross country meets, and taking walks around campus.
d. My wife dragged me to an art opening at the Greer Museum while I was sick and running a 102˚ fever with the promise of free food. We weren’t able to leave before the visiting artist was asked to speak a “few” words. I ended up curled up in a ball on the floor trying not to die for the next hour and half as they rambled on. Not fun at the time. Humorous in hindsight and something my wife and I can laugh about now.
7. Was there any teacher, advisor, coach, etc. that made an impact on your life? How?
Dr. Chris Kenney is both a mentor and a friend. I think I had him for at least one class every semester I was at Rio, but his influence extended beyond just what he taught. His eye to detail and constant expectation that we give our best in our work forced me to not only be a better student but a better person.
8. What did you learn about yourself during college?
I learned that the self-imposed commitments and ties of friendship and loving, familial relationship are among the most important things you can foster and maintain during this life. I also learned that all of our actions will have consequences whether intended, unintended, pleasant, or painful; all of them work, by God’s grace, to our betterment.
9. Tell us about life after Rio.
Life after Rio has been quiet, which I consider to be a good thing. Most of my focus after Rio has centered on being a good husband, raising a family, and growing in my Christian faith. This has included a lot of time as a volunteer adult educator within my church, and, through my children’s activities, as a 4H instructor.
10. How did Rio prepare you for your career?
Perhaps the best asset that Rio provided was the skills that an education in music provide that extend beyond music itself – training in analytical skills, seeing the inherent order in complexity, and being able to creatively build upon something. All of those have proved useful in many ways as I’ve transitioned through careers in sales to IT work.
11. Why are you proud to be a Rio Alumna/Alumnus?
Because I gained more than an education there. I gained a spouse, friends, a mentor, life skills, and memories.
12. Do you have any advice for current students?
Become involved with campus activities and groups; stay over the weekends and explore the country side; find a small group of close knit friends and foster those relationships; always wear shower shoes.
13. Is there anything else you would like to add?
Hot biscuits and gravy from the food tent at the Bob Evans Festival just as the sun is coming up, the dew is fresh on the grass, and crisp fall breeze is blowing needs to be experienced at least once. Multiple times if you can swing it.