My name is Rikki Jenkins. I am a senior volleyball and softball student-athlete from Virginia, Illinois. MacMurray College has been a great influence on my life. It has transformed me in many different ways. Since I enrolled in classes, I have built a tremendous amount of confidence. In high school, I was the type of student who would never raise my hand if I knew the answer to a question. It was like pulling teeth for me to talk during a class discussion or on the court or field. I was a mediocre athlete, and I felt as if I would never compare to the other girls. Sports never came easy to me. I always had to work extremely hard to get a starting position. My coaches always saw potential in me, but I didnít have the confidence to back it up.
My freshman year at MacMurray was, by far, the point in my life when that all changed. I found myself in a new environment with the influence of a very positive faculty and coaching staff. They pushed me to my limits and made me realize what potential I held inside. They really were the ones who molded me into the person you see here today. I hold a higher grade point average here than I did in my high school, and I am very involved in my classes. I am now the captain of both the volleyball and softball teams. Last year, I was a member of the 1st team All-Conference softball team, and I held the highest batting average on the team. The confidence that I have developed here is something that I am going to carry on in my professional life, and it will be something I will continue to build. I owe it all to MacMurray College.
My name is LaToya Jones, and I am a junior volleyball and basketball player from Gurnee, Illinios. After high school, college was not my first choice. I wanted to join the Navy and travel overseas. Then after some careful consideration, I realized my heart was in playing sports and learning. I wanted to major in accounting so I applied for college. I enrolled at another area school because I already knew some people there. After being there for a semester, I realized that this other school was not for me, plus my grades were not very good and I could not keep focused on both athletics and academics. At that point, I reapplied to MacMurray College. The moment I came for a visit I knew I would have a new beginning and a better environment here. The staff was welcoming and made me feel at home. I love the sports here because I feel like I have a family away from home. I also learned a lot about how teamwork is not just on the court, but off the court too.
My grades also made a change for the better. When I transferred to MacMurray College, I had a 2.7 GPA, but now I have a 3.6 GPA and I am on the Dean's List. If I had not have come into this community with caring professors and coaches, I probably would not have finished college. I feel like the faculty and staff here at MacMurray College are helping me to be a better student and athlete by shaping me into a more responsible adult and leader. I will forever be proud to say I am from MacMurray College.
My name is Zac Ozee, and I am a junior accounting major from Arcola, Illinois. When I was younger, I always thought of college as the next step after high school. I always viewed it as something everyone had to do. As I grew older, I realized that not everyone goes to college, and I am actually the first in my family to go on after high school. My view never changed, though. It was mandatory if I wanted to be successful in todayís society. I had the privilege of having parents who worked hard for what they have, but I know that they work too hard for too little; a lesson I have been learning throughout my entire life. I have a few simple goals that I think will lead to a happy and fulfilled life, and in order to fulfill those goals, I knew the first step was finding a college that would not only get me a degree but also put in as much work into me as I was prepared to put into them. This is one of the greatest qualities MacMurray has to offer.
Bigger schools have bigger names, but I donít think they could ever measure up to a smaller, private school like Mac. If a professor has so many students they have no idea what you name is, how could they ever help you succeed? They couldnít. Professors here know you as a person and are willing to do what it takes to help you become whatever it is you want to be.
Aside from my educational experience here, I also have the rare privilege of playing on a successful basketball team. Other than getting a good job, I have always wanted to further my athletic experience while I still can and feed my competitive nature. Coach Creal has put together a great program and has managed to instill a lot of life-long values in me that every person should have and know. The hard work, determination, and ability to withstand criticism is something Coach Creal has brought to the table when showing us how to not only play the game but how to win.
When I was looking for a college, I chose MacMurray because it fit with the qualities that I was looking for. Now that I am here, I realize I made the right decision and I have learned so much more of what Mac has to offer.
MacMurray Assistant Football Coach
MacAssist Coordinator for the Center for Learning Excellence
My name is Nate Robinson, and I am an alum from the class of 2010. I am currently serving as an assistant football coach here at Mac in charge of wide receivers. Iím originally from West Palm Beach, Florida, population of around 100,000. When I came to Mac, I didnít know anything about Jacksonville, Illinois. The only thing I knew is that it was about 30 minutes from Springfield. As a small school, Mac benefitted me because I wasnít just another number. I was actually a student who could interact with the faculty and staff, and everyone here cares about studentsí success.
I certainly missed my family early in my times at Mac. Thankfully, I played four years on the Highlander football team and gained a new family. This was extremely important to me. There were times when I couldnít make it home for the holidays or other class breaks, so I spent them with the families of my teammates. In fact, I had a teammate come to Florida to spend some time with me and my family.
Mac helped to change me as a person. I was limited to the things I had been around as a teenager, and coming to college so far away from home and experiencing new things out of my comfort zone was beneficial. All of my experiences here at Mac shaped me into a better person, and I am happy that I have the same chance to do for someone else what was done for me.
My name is Taylor Soat, and I am a sophomore Deaf Education major on the volleyball team. When I first left home last fall to begin my education at MacMurray College, I didnít know what to expect. However, when I arrived, I realized that Mac wasnít much different than my own hometown of Galena, Illinois. It is very easy to get to know people here and make life-long friends because the people at Mac are always welcoming and kind. Also, the staff is very concerned about every studentís education, and they strive to help us in any way.
Being a college athlete is something many young athletes can only dream of. That dream came true for me when I was selected to be a member of the MacMurray College volleyball team. Being a student-athlete at Mac has helped me increase my skills on and off the court. Last year as a freshman, I earned the highest amount of blocks on the team, and I was selected to the Honorable Mention All Conference team of the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. In addition to improving my skills, being a student-athlete here has taught me how to properly manage my time. Balancing academics and athletics at the collegiate level is not an easy task, but I have learned to organize my priorities. I maintain a 3.6 GPA while playing volleyball and participating in other organizations on campus. MacMurray athletics has also taught me discipline, leadership, and most importantly, how to build relationships with others and the value of communication and teamwork. My days as a MacMurray College student-athlete are a time I will remember and take great pride in for the rest of my life.
December 9 —
Men's Basketball JV Game vs. Greenville College
December 13 —
Women's Basketball Game vs. St. Mary-of-the-Woods College
December 13 —
Women's Basketball Game vs. Calumet College of St. Joseph
December 14 —
Women's Basketball Game vs. Greenville College
December 14 —
Women's Basketball Game vs. St. Mary-of-the-Woods College