Two men, two different life resumes, one common thread.
Manchester University graduates Tony Frieden and Brad Murphy have taken different paths in their careers. However, the two each share an understanding of what Spartan athletics and the annual Friends of Manchester Golf Outing has done for them and countless others.
"If it's just been being able to get back and catch up with friends and enjoy a round of golf, it's still a great opportunity," Frieden, a four-year men's basketball student-athlete in the early 1990s for the much-ballyhooed teams of former head coach Steve Alford, reflected. "However, at the end of the day, being able to hear the many wonderful stories from other athletes over the years and knowing that they and the athletic department appreciate the support (of what the outing does) is even more special."
Murphy, who held down first base duties for the Black and Gold baseball program from 2010-13 that included an NCAA Division III College World Series appearance during his senior season, agreed.
"(The golf outing) has been great," he noted. "It's given me a chance to give back while reconnecting with former teammates and classmates. It also allows you to meet and visit with other alumni to gain even more perspectives of what Manchester University is all about.
(Manchester University) provided me so many opportunities, and this is one where I can return the favor," he added. "I feel it's important for former student-athletes to understand how much the outing can do for the next generation of university successes on and off the field."
As he and some of his co-workers from the law office of Barnes and Thornburg in Fort Wayne tee it up Friday, June 8, at Bridgewater Golf Course in Auburn, Ind., for the 2018 edition, Murphy's thoughts won't be far away from the importance of what Manchester University has done in his life.
"Academically, I was able to develop relationships with professors and received individualized attention that I would not have gotten elsewhere. My professors pushed me to think critically, which helped during law school and helps now as a practicing attorney," he reminisced. "Athletically, I was challenged every day to be a better player on the field and a better person off the field, which helped to shape who I am today. Through baseball, I was also able to develop life-long friendships and create lasting memories."
Despite not being able to attend the outing over the past few years due to family and work obligations, Frieden, a tax manager at Thor Industries in Elkhart, Ind., understands full well the benefits of his MU experience.
"It was wonderful being able to stay in the area I grew up in and attend an institution that provided me such a great education," he noted. "The professors in the accounting program prepared me and many others so well for the workplace, our Certified Public Accounting exams and life in general. I think some of the most important lessons I gained were when they might have been on tough on me and I wondered why. They knew what kind of success was out there."
Two more stories of the benefits of Manchester University … Commonplace themes from the Friends of Manchester Golf Outing.