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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

August 16, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Accent

Up ’til Dawn founder looks back on four years as student leader

Whether it’s planning a major event or fighting childhood cancer with St. Jude’s, senior Tim Reynolds never settles for less than excellence. As a freshman, the physical therapy major founded the Ithaca College chapter of Up ’til Dawn, a philanthropic club that supports St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Since then, there has been no limit to the club’s contributions and success.

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Kristen Tomkowid/The IthacanSenior Tim Reynolds, a physical therapy major, cheers on the contestants of the Up ’til Dawn event “Man v. Cancer.” Reynolds founded the Ithaca College chapter of Up ’til Dawn.

Staff Writer Alyssa Frey spoke with Reynolds about the physical therapy program, his work with Up ’til Dawn and his plans after graduation.

Alyssa Frey: How has your experience with the physical therapy program been?

Tim Reynolds: It’s been awesome. You have the opportunity to take classes with professors that have a lot of experience and be in a class of 87 other kids that are really interested in what they’re doing. It lets you not only learn in the classroom but outside settings as well.

AF: Are you going to be in the graduate program at Ithaca College?

TR: Yes, I’ll be coming back to Ithaca next year. So graduating in May doesn’t mean much; it just means that I have another two years before I can do anything with my life.

AF: What are you most excited for going into the graduate program?

TR: Probably learning more. We’re finally learning things that we’re going to be able to use in the real world and to treat people and to help people. In the end, that’s what we want to do; we want to try to make people get better.

AF: What role has the Leadership Scholars, a scholarship program that allows students to become more active in the college community, played in your undergraduate career?

TR: Michele [Lenhart]’s done a great job with everything. She’s a really great lady. It’s just cool to track yourself as a freshman and see what you considered a big accomplishment and then again as a senior. Leadership Scholars has been a great venue and opportunity to help guide me as a leader.

AF: How do you think have you have grown as a leader?

TR: The avenue in which I’ve seen myself grow has been with Up ’til Dawn, being the president of the organization and the founder of the organization. Coming into college, it was the right scenario for me to grow and flourish as a leader, in that there are people that wanted to make a difference in the world.

AF: What is your biggest strength as a leader?

TR: I like to talk. I joke that having meetings every week is a great opportunity to talk for 45 minutes. I get that from my mom — she’s a professional clown and a really big people person.

AF: Why did you found Up ’til Dawn?

TR: When I was in high school, a friend passed away. She was this amazing student athlete, all-state, going to be the next valedictorian. She passed away in a car accident and at her funeral, her family asked that donations be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. I wanted to do as much as possible to help out, so I started raising money in high school and raised over $120,000. I came to college and said, “You know what? College is just a bigger high school. Why stop what you’ve been doing for four years? Just keep it going here.’”

AF: What do you plan on pursuing as a career?

TR: I’m not really sure. I always said I wanted to help people, no matter where I end up, and that’s going to be my ultimate goal. All the work that I’ve done with St. Jude’s throughout the years, part of me says that I should work with kids with cancer. I think that’s probably my calling.

AF: Will you be continuing your work with St. Jude’s at Ithaca after graduation?

TR: Graduate students can’t be a part of the executive board, so it’s my time to step down. This is a really big part of my life because Up ’til Dawn has been my experience at Ithaca College. It’s been my baby, and I’ve watched it grow for four years, and now it’s like letting it go and letting it move on.