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Collegiate Friar – October 2022

Catching up with young alumnus and referee Thomas Mills, Jr. '19, who now is a senior at the University of Iowa.
Fenwick Graduation Year: 2019
Hometown: Chicago
Grade School: St. Vincent Ferrer (River Forest, IL)
College: University of Iowa
Major: Sports and Recreation Management; Minor: Political Science/Sports Studies

Internship: This past summer, I had the opportunity to work as an umpire liaison for the Iowa High School Athletic Association State Baseball Championships. For the past three seasons, I have served as the head coach of the University of Iowa Women’s Club Basketball Team.

Career aspirations: I want to be a NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Official. I have been fortunate enough to have made significant progress in my aspirations. This past summer, I was hired by two college assignors and will be officiating NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball and Junior College Men’s ball in addition to working a full high school schedule. Since I began officiating as a [high school] senior, I have accomplished so much. I have worked the Nike Girls Tournament of Champions for four straight years, the Nike Boys EYBL League. My sophomore year in college, I made history in the State of Iowa as my crew was the youngest crew to officiate a varsity basketball game in Iowa history. This past season, I had the honor being selected to work the State Tournament in Iowa. I also officiate varsity high school football.

Fenwick achievements/activities: At Fenwick, I played basketball and soccer as a freshman. The rest of my time at Fenwick was spent as a proud member of the football team. As a football player, I was fortunate enough to be a part of the 2016 state semi-final team. In addition, I served as a captain my senior year and am a proud recipient of the Paul Raffaelli Friar Pride Award. Aside from athletics, I was member of the Athletic Training Club and also served as both a Kairos leader and rector.

Fenwick teacher who had the most influence on you: Fr. Dennis Woerter [Fenwick Class of 1986 and former campus minister] has been a significant role model in my life since before I got to Fenwick. Father Dennis was always a huge supporter to me and often took time out of his day to check on me and offer advice. When I was a senior, it was Fr. Dennis who encouraged me to apply to be a Kairos leader and rector.

Fenwick class that had the most influence on you: Mr. Arellano’s Speech class was an extremely helpful class that has continued to
impact my life in college. Mr. Arellano [now retired] helped me to become a better public speaker. At Iowa, my sports classes often require me to give presentations, and I credit Mr. Arellano for my lack of stress and confidence when giving these presentations.

Best Fenwick experience/the one you would like to live again? I would love to go back and relive my senior year homecoming game. Of all my
memorable Fenwick moments, that game was the best. Our team trailed 24-7 the entire game until the 4th quarter, when we rallied together with the support of our Fenwick Family to win in overtime. It was a moment of success -- I had never felt more and could not have been prouder to wear the shield.

The Fenwick experience that changed you the most: The Kairos experience at Fenwick changed me the most for the better. As a retreatant, I learned so much about my peers and grew closer to my friends. I learned the importance of treating people with respect and dignity. My Kairos experience made me a better person and, even more importantly, a better leader. In a three-day retreat, I strengthened my faith, created lasting friendships and strengthened my relationships with my family and friends.
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