Dear Admissions Staff,

I am writing to formally inform you of my resignation from the position of tour guide in the office of admissions at the University of Richmond. As you know on September 21st, Athletics Director Jim Miller notified my teammates and I that the University of Richmond will no longer be sponsoring a men’s soccer program after this fall. Listening to the empty rhetoric from Mr. Miller throughout the meeting regarding the decision and how it was made really brought into question the integrity of this University and over the past two weeks it has not improved at all.

As a tour guide and a student-athlete on the men’s soccer team I have told many stories about how much this university cares about its students, uses the vast financial resources to make anything attainable and pursues the Richmond Promise. I can never tell those stories honestly and with confidence that these prospective students will have that experience.

On September 21st, The Board of Trustees and President Ayers made a decision that completely went against the Richmond Promise, in cutting the two highest earning GPA’s for men’s sports in the athletic department and also cutting the worlds game and one of the most diverse sports on campus. On September 21st, the Board of Trustees, without transparency, behind closed doors, told a group of young men that have dedicated their lives to representing the University of Richmond, that they mean nothing to them. On September 21st, I became a victim of money in higher education at a university that I truly believed was growing above that and had genuine compassion for its students.

Giving tours was truly the highlight of my day. Taking families around the lake and telling them about the great opportunities that this school gives to people was unique and fulfilling. Furthermore the people that I interacted with on a daily basis in the Office of Admissions were caring, compassionate and outstanding stewards for the University. In August when I suffered from a knee infection that not only threatened my season, but my ability to walk again, it was not Jim Miller, Laree Sugg or anyone in athletics that reached out in support, it was Jeanne Hollister from admissions. When Jim Miller and Laree Sugg told us the news that the University had turned on us, the first person that offered their support was Jeanne from admissions.

Writing this letter and leaving the Spider Key Society family has truly been one of the hardest things I have done in the past two weeks. Last spring when I began working in admissions, I really found a home. I was not an “admission slot” as Dr. Ayers labeled me; but I was Zac a student who represents all that is right at Richmond and everything it has to offer. Hopefully over the coming months discussions will be had about the sacred 13 percent of student-athletes that are apart of each class at the University of Richmond and I know some of those conversations will be with people in admissions. All I ask is that during those discussions you think of the countless other student athletes that represent the University on a daily basis as tour guides. Do not simply think of us as “admission slots”, but as Emily Parisi, Samantha Cicconi and Zac Brown.

I truly respect the work that is being done in the office of admissions. I thank you for the character-shaping experience I had as a tour guide representing a University that I held to the highest standard. Sadly, after the actions of the University on September 21st, I no longer feel as if I can be a positive representative of this institution.
10/13/2013

Every action of our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity.

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