By Jordan Beach
While at college, many find their career path and some even find their passion. Ian Schumacher found his life’s purpose, fulfilling it to every capacity during his time on campus at Reinhardt University.
Schumacher is not just a familiar face around campus, he became a friend and influence to anyone he met, just one of the many reasons he was named “Student of the Year” at the 2019 Evening of Honors.
“It’s a great honor just to be nominated,” said Schumacher. “It definitely helped make the night even more special and brought to my attention that I’m getting to graduate from this amazing University.”
It’s easy to see why he was nominated: Schumacher embodies Reinhardt’s mission to educate the mind, body and spirit, as his journey as an Eagle brought him into contact with opportunities that would enable his growth in so many facets—all beginning with James Miller, head football coach, calling Schumacher for over a month during his senior year in high school.
“I was 100 percent committed to Reinhardt and had not set foot or seen pictures of this beautiful campus,” said Schumacher. “Some may call it luck, but I like to think of it as divine intervention.”
While earning his bachelor’s degree in mathematics, Schumacher was much more than a football player: he served on Student Activities Council and the Student Government Association, was an Orientation Leader and Admissions Captain, excelled in the Honors Program and even played a couple roles in School of Performing Arts productions.
Schumacher values the unique ability Reinhardt provided, saying the extent of his involvement on campus could not be achieved at any other university.
“I have been asked why and how I do so much. I love this school and everyone in it to such an extent that I feel compelled to give back the experiences that were so generously given to me,” said Schumacher. “Reinhardt made me more than a football player, it made me a man.”
Through all the time he spent serving others at Reinhardt, Schumacher discovered his purpose, his “niche in society”—he believes he was made to serve.
“I was made to serve God, my community, my school, my peers and anyone who I come in contact with…I believe that it is my calling, it is my reason to life, to cherish every day and pour into others so that I can feel full.”
Honors Night proved to be an exciting evening for Schumacher, even after the ceremony. Schumacher got down on one knee to propose to his now fiancé, Ansley Avera, who he met at Reinhardt before she graduated in 2018. The two had much in common, both student-athletes and leaders, and now sharing the honor of being named Student of the Year in their respective years.