Rob Powers ’84
Bachelor’s Degree, Eastern Michigan University, 1988
What activities were you involved with as a student at Holy Name?
I was involved in student government as a class officer, participated in the spring musicals (“Bye Bye Birdie,” “No, No, Nanette” and “Oliver!”) and played football all four years. Some would argue the “football” part.
Who was your favorite teacher and/or what was your favorite subject?
It would be just about impossible to pick a favorite teacher. I really thought people like Mr. Joe Ehrbar, Miss Joanie Dreher (now Mrs. Ehrbar), Mr. Gary Pillar and Mr. Dave Wilks took extra time to understand how my brain worked, and I always appreciated Mrs. Petrina Simpson asking me to step out of my comfort zone and get on stage. I liked some classes more than others… took “Survival” thinking we’d be making fire using two sticks, maybe learn how to wrestle a bear; turns out I learned how to sew on a button, iron a shirt and set a table. Cool stuff, sure. But not as cool as bear wrestling.
What is your fondest memory of Holy Name?
Again, too many to single anything out. Singing the fight song on the bus after a football victory is right up there… hanging at Antonio’s… pep rallies… the big chocolate chip cookies… cast parties… school Masses… I had a blast at Holy Name. I think the best part of my experience was “the people”: students, faculty, staff, parents, everybody who made everything so worthwhile. A lot of us still get together, we talk about the good old days and the days that have come and gone since then.
How did Holy Name prepare you for your life as an adult?
Holy Name was and still is a very special place. I would hope students know that now, but I am confident it will really hit home shortly after they graduate. I figured out in college nobody at school really cared if I passed or failed my classes. At the same time it dawned on me how much the people at HN really DID care. Bringing so many people together under one roof from so many parishes, so many different personalities and backgrounds and saying, “Here ya go. Whatever you do you do as a Namer, and ya do it together.” We learned how to deal with people… with different situations, good and bad… we realized that, yes, you learned from books, but more importantly, you learned from people, whether that person was teaching the class or sitting next to you. I also think, in a faith-based curriculum, everything we did came back to the reason we came to Holy Name in the first place: Dealing with life is important. But trying your best every day to deal with it in the right way is more important.
What does Holy Name mean to you?
One word: Family. Sure, my family all graduated from Holy Name, but that is only part of it. There is a bond that goes way beyond. I have seen it, I have lived it. We are all a single brick in the living history that is Holy Name. Alumni stepping up for one another. People ranging in age from 19 to 90 asking how my parents are doing (They are great, by the way, thank you!). Friends making sure friends are OK years after walking away with that diploma. Why? Because it is a family, that is why. You open that door, you walk down that hallway, you stroll into that gym, you kneel in that chapel, you can feel it. And once it gets inside you, it stays. It is a feeling of belonging, a feeling that says no matter what happens to me I always have a home, a feeling that people have your back, a feeling that you are loved simply because you are “you.” If that is not a family, I do not know what is.