Two funds help student athletes

By Laura (Hunter ’03) Rose
Student A is a senior communication major who has been on the dean’s list every semester. He’s been named a Who’s Who Among American College Students twice, and this year was voted Homecoming Ambassador.

He freelanced for The News Tribune in Tacoma and interned with The Olympian, Olympia’s daily newspaper. During his time at PLU he has worked as a resident assistant, a reporter for The Mast, a concert usher and a Red Carpet Club host for the admission office.

Student B is a Lute athlete. He’s played baseball and tennis while at PLU, and was named to the Academic All-District Team for tennis last year in honor of his athletic and academic talent.

Surprise! Student A and Student B are the same person.

Tyler Ochsner ’07 has contributed greatly to PLU over the years. But his time as a student athlete might not have been possible. PLU’s status as an NCAA-Division III school means student-athletes cannot receive financial aid purely for sports. That’s where scholarships and support from Q Club and Lute Club really come through for students like Ochsner.

Ochsner and his brother, Justin Ochsner ’03, are first-generation college graduates. He said his Q Club scholarship is a “big deal” to his family because it gave him a shot to get his bachelor’s degree.

“You’re giving opportunities to people who wouldn’t have them otherwise,” he said.

He applied to 10 different schools, but when he visited PLU he knew it was the place for him. Ochsner said PLU was the only campus where people would greet the tour guide by name. “PLU is in a different league. The people are warm, genuine and sincere,” he said.

“My Q Club scholarship is a huge part of my financial aid puzzle and it kept me from needing to get another job so I could focus on other activities and academics. I’ll forever be grateful to all the people who made that possible,” he said.

Ochsner said travel expenses for tennis trips are almost always paid for through Lute Club gifts. Lute Club also provides equipment for the team and pays the rental cost for practice and tournament space.

Ochsner said his three years as a resident assistant made the biggest impact on his life and those around him.

“I came into college as a follower, being the youngest in my family. Being a (resident assistant) threw me into the leader role. It gave me a chance to be a ‘big brother,’” he said.

After graduation this May, Ochsner hopes to become an admission counselor for PLU. “It would allow me to give back to PLU what PLU has given to me,” he said. “I can help other students find their way.”

Ochsner would also be interested in working for Teach for America, AmeriCorp or World Teach. He said being at PLU made him realize that he wants to have a direct effect on other people’s lives.

“I have had ample opportunities outside of the classroom to be a leader and be in a community that values relationships. PLU has molded me and made me understand my own values,” he said.

Quality education has always been the mission of Q Club. Support to Q Club provides assistance to deserving students as they prepare for lives of service. It guarantees that PLU graduates are equipped with the knowledge, skills and ability to think critically, interact with others and understand their role in the global community.

Lute Club contributions assist the athletics department with team travel, recruiting, equipment and other tools necessary to ensure teams sustain a competitive advantage over their rivals. Your investment in Lute Club provides for the development of tomorrow’s leaders athletically, academically and socially.

Laura Rose is assistant director for annual giving/Q Club. More information about giving to Q Club and Lute Club is available online at www.plu.edu/deve or by calling the Office of Development at 253-535-7177 or toll-free at 800-826-0035.

Photo top: Tyler Oschner ’07 is both an excellent student and an athlete who has benefited from the support of Q Club and Lute Club.