Jack Barganier graduated summa cum laude from Sewanee: The University of the South with a major in art history. During his years at Sewanee, he served as a captain of the varsity cross country and track teams, a musician for church services at All Saints’ Chapel, and a student leader with the Sewanee Outing Program. Next year he plans to go back to school for a degree in architecture.

What was your most meaningful experience or extracurricular activity in undergrad and why?

My most meaningful experience in undergrad was a canoeing trip on the Rio Grande River along the U.S.-Mexico border in Big Bend National Park.  We spent a week completely isolated from the rest of the world, paddling all day long through the oasis of the Rio Grande amid a vast and dry desert. I developed more confidence in myself, and I formed lasting friendships that have been so important to helping me to define my sense of community and to discover my place in it.

Who is someone you admire and why?

I truly admire my former cross country and track head coach, Jeff Heitzenrater. More than just a coach, Coach Heitz, as we called him, was a compassionate and empathetic leader and friend. He was never afraid to express how he felt–often that meant crying in front of the whole team over the imminent departure of the seniors at the end-of-the-year party. For me, as a man living in a world where men are often told not to have feelings–or at least not to show them–it meant a lot to see how open Coach Heitz was with his emotions. And this sensitivity of his always seemed to guide him towards, or least go hand-in-hand with, a deep appreciation and respect for every athlete and every person he came into contact with.