Patrick Wolfkill ′89 and Todd Suessmuth ′90
Marketing and Business Administration majors respectively
It’s game time at Messiah College. Soccer fans eagerly seek bleacher seats in anticipation of what most believe will be game of the century-the NCAA tournament’s Final Four. Shoemaker Field, home to the College’s six-time national soccer champions, abounds with nervous anticipation … and the alluring smell of the infamous, grilled “cheesy dogs.”
Ten years ago Patrick Wolfkill ′89, Todd Suessmuth ′90, Troy Suessmuth ′93, and Sandy Bush, director of athletic training, began coordinating tailgate parties at Messiah men’s soccer games, seeing it as an opportunity to fellowship with friends and alumni. Since then, the effort-funded solely by its coordinators and individual contributions-has expanded to include parents of players, providing an opportunity for moms and dads to experience the deep, committed relationships formed by team members and alumni.
Patrick, Todd, and Troy see tailgating as not only a celebration of Messiah College’s outstanding soccer program, but as a ministry. “The tailgating helps different generations of players and their families connect on a personal level. It was the spirit of giving shown to me while I attended Messiah that I wanted to pass on,” says Todd, the all-time leading scorer for Messiah’s men’s soccer team and an All-American player.
And the food’s not bad either. Who can resist the smell of sizzling cheese dogs and hamburgers on a brisk autumn afternoon? Not many, according to Director of Alumni and Parent Relations Jay McClymont ’92, who is grateful for the support of alumni and the traditions they create and preserve. “Todd, Patrick, Troy, and Sandy are great role models for our students and alumni. They have found a way to give their time and resources to serve the Messiah College community in an area of life (soccer) that they love.”
Since 2006, Patrick and Todd have expanded their outreach to include Messiah soccer fans around the globe by providing game commentary, simulcast live via the College’s student-run radio station WVMM, 90.7 FM. “The most important thing we do as radio announcers is keep the Messiah fans, parents, and alumni connected to the team when they are unable to visit Shoemaker Field. We talk about the vision of the program and how these young men are playing for something bigger than themselves,” says Patrick, who played three years of junior varsity soccer for the College.
Todd enjoys announcing as well. “Many families make sacrifices to send their sons and daughters to Messiah,” he says. “We help to serve by bringing their son’s soccer experience to them and their extended families.”
LINK HERE TO LEARN ABOUT UPCOMING EVENTS FOR MESSIAH BUSINESS ALUMNI.
The purpose of the Messiah Business Alumni Association is to foster increased interaction and stronger relationships between Messiah’s business alumni; to serve as a resource for current business students within the same field of study; to act as an advocate for the Management & Business Department; and to develop business relationships with individuals representing public, private, and not-for-profit organizations.
Posted on February 5th, 2009