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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Caddying teaches Evans Scholars how to “keep showing up”

Established in 1955, Marquette’s Evans Scholars program houses around 60 scholars and has 848 alumni.
Evans Scholars learn life lessons from their experience caddying. Photo Courtesy of Riley Heydenburg.

Chick Evans, an amateur golfer, requested in 1929 that the Western Golf Association donate his funds to create a full ride scholarship for caddies. Today, the WGA has Evans Scholarships available at 24 universities nationwide.

Established in 1955, Marquette’s Evans Scholars program houses around 60 scholars and has 848 alumni.

The application process to become an Evans Scholar looks at four things: Strong caddie record, excellent academics, demonstrated financial need and outstanding character.

Riley Heydenburg, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences and Evans Scholar, said there’s a phrase they use frequently in the house: “Make Chick proud.”

“A lot of people have sacrificed their money and time for us to go to college. I think about that a lot,” Heydenburg said.

As far as their values go, Heydenburg said that the basis of their goals is to work hard in their academics and set an example for the younger scholars. 

Heydenburg said she started caddying as a sophomore in high school with her older brother. She said being a caddy has taught her determination and valuable life skills.

“It’s one of the best jobs a young person can have. It teaches you so many skills about how to be personable,” Heydenburg said.

Heydenburg said the phrase “Keep showing up,” guides her in her college career both as a caddy and as a student. She said she’s involved in a variety of organizations across campus, and on top of school, she can get very busy. She said reminding herself to keep showing up gives her the motivation to keep going.

Anthony Perfetti, a senior in the College of Communication and Evans Scholar said that this phrase applies to his experience as well.

“Waking up at six in the morning and going to caddy in the rain… it’s tough, but it’s the best job you can have. I still go out and caddy. I’ve built so many relationships,” Perfetti said.

Perfetti said the things he’s learned as a caddy have not only taught him how to have grit, but also how to improve himself as a person. 

“I was really shy until I started caddying, but you learn to talk to so many different people. Obviously, it’s not the same every time. You have some guys that want to be silent half the time or guys who want to be really talkative. When you meet so many different diverse types of personalities, it teaches you how to be a better communicator,” Perfetti said.

Similarly, Frank Signorelli, a sophomore in the College of Business Administration and Evans Scholar, said that being a caddy taught him how to have professional conversations.

Signorelli started caddying when he was in seventh grade. He said he almost quit because he was young and didn’t know a lot of the people he worked with, but when he came back to caddying after taking a break, he started enjoying the opportunities it gave him, such as becoming assistant caddy master.

Through these conversations, Signorelli said he was able to determine that he wanted to become a business major.

“When you’re caddying people are always asking you what you want to do with your life. You’re talking to people who have real world experience. I took the most common response that I got which was to major in something business adjacent, and I looked into it myself and now I’m a finance and commercial banking major,” Signorelli said.

As for the environment of the house, Signorelli said that the Evans Scholars work hard to live out the scholarship’s legacy.

“It’s nice to live with people that have the same expectations and that general dedication to school. I’ll go down in the basement and see 20 people studying,” Signorelli said.

Perfetti described the environment of the Evans Scholar house as inviting and social.

“When you pop out into the hall, there’s always people to talk to. That’s really helpful because being social is such an important part of college and mental health,” Perfetti said.

Signorelli said that he’s always done the most with what he has, and living in the Evans Scholar house is no different. He said he knows he needs to work hard, because the scholarship isn’t just a free ride.

“What we learn as caddies follows us through college and teaches us to have a strong work ethic,” Heydenburg said.

This story was written by Sophia Tiedge. She can be reached at [email protected].

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Sophia Tiedge
Sophia Tiedge, Executive News Editor
Sophia is a sophomore from Arlington Heights, IL studying journalism. This year she will serving as the Executive News Editor after spending last year as a news reporter. In her free time, Sophia enjoys reading, working out and going to new places with her friends. This year Sophia is looking forward to collaborating with others and learning more about what happens on campus.

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