If you’ve paid any attention to the recent hustle and bustle of campus, you would have seen our beloved professors’ faces appear on baseball cards embossed with the Student Foundations logo. So what are they and where did they come from?
Let’s start with Student Foundations. According to Phil Volkert, a senior business major and president of the club, SF is “the one and only foundation on the university’s campus.” Their main goal is to “foster and protect the unique character of the university [and] bring together the faculty, staff, and administration to work with Alumni for the betterment of the University’s current and future students.”
With that in mind, SF’s Traditions chair, senior economics major Thomas Farley, headed up the baseball card initiative. The project began as a prompt from Volkert in the form of a question. Volkert asked his officers to come up with ideas that reflected who they are as a person. Farley’s answer was God and baseball.
From there, Farley created baseball-style trading cards for our professors and favorite historical icons, stylizing them with a picture and a fun anecdote of each individual. The cards are randomized into packs of 10 cards with no repeats and are sold on the Mall on Fridays. The idea is to collect a complete set (there are currently 29 designs) by trading with other students. Farley claimed “It’s kind of like Pokemon: ‘Gotta catch ‘em all!’”
When asked about the purpose of this project, Farley said, “We want to encourage student-professor relationships beyond the classroom … I think it’s a cool and eye-opening experience to learn more about them.”
Farley’s comment fit perfectly into Volkert’s view of the project. He said SF primarily focuses on “growing a community that strives to be connected with our past and present, and looking forward to our future.” Volkert pointed out the cards represented our past with Homer and the Crusader, and UD’s present with President Sanford and Dean Roper. He drew a parallel between the groups of people, saying that they are “uncommon people who seek similar virtuous lives.”
While Farley headed up the project, he was aided by several other members of SF. Molly Zepeda, a sophomore, helped in the first phase of the project, acquiring consent from professors and compiling pictures and facts. Senior politics majors Julia Lyons and Ben Simansky as well as senior business major Nate Kustner also worked on the project.
Additionally, Farley pointed out that most of the members of SF had a hand in the project in some way, particularly Dominic Kelly, a freshman, who was “always willing to sacrifice a bit of his time to aid with packaging.”
While the first launch of the cards was a huge success, Farley said he wants to expand the project. He commented “I want to make a game out of it, kind of like Magic the Gathering or Pokemon.” What would the powers be? +10 style for Fr. Thomas? +10 humor for Dr. Moran? The opportunities are endless and potentially very amusing.
Farley also shared that he wants to include professors who have passed away or retired, so that “Students can see who made UD great in the past and who had such a lasting impact.”
This project has already taken off, with Farley rejoicing in “the smiles and excitement on people’s faces when they open up a pack and pull one of their favorite professors.” Farley said it’s the nostalgic quality of baseball cards combined with the admiration we have for our professors that produces these smiles.
Volkert was also thrilled at the success of the baseball cards, referring to the project as a “Virtuous and harmonious cycle of joy.”
Farley plans to continue the project next semester with the release of more cards, so get out there and keep trading. Keep your eyes on SF for more exciting activities in the spring, including Clash of Classes!