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A man of virtue and intel­li­gence whose actions speak louder than his care­fully chosen words, Ethan Smith stands alone among the senior class. Anyone who knows Ethan can attest to the hard work, service, and loyalty of the math major and business minor that puts God and others before himself. The Jonesville native is a Sigma Chi, the men’s bas­ketball manager, a four-year varsity girls soccer coach at Will Car­leton Academy, an active parish­ioner at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, a summer window painter, and a beer-tasting enthu­siast.

 

How did you feel upon learning that you were named the Out­standing Senior man?

I was very sur­prised. I was sur­prised throughout the whole thing, from the initial nom­i­nation and making it on to the final four. I was very honored to be among such great indi­viduals.

What do you think con­tributed to this honor?

I think more than any­thing it’s a reflection of the fact that I’ve been blessed with very loving parents and sib­lings who have invested a lot of time in raising me. It reflects also on the type of people I’m sur­rounded by here- the type that push you and want to see you succeed.

Who are those that have reflected pos­i­tively upon you and influ­enced the person you are today?

First and foremost, my family. Between my parents and my brothers and sisters, they’ve really shown me what it means to try and pursue a vir­tuous life. That has been not replaced but enhanced by the rela­tion­ships here at Hillsdale, espe­cially my brothers in Sigma Chi, my rela­tionship with Maggie Ball, and then also my best friend, Zack Lefere. We’ve gone through a lot together and he’s really showed me what it means to be a loyal friend.

What are your future plans? 

How will what you’ve learned at Hillsdale influence you in the future?

Nothing is official yet. There’s no job offers yet. But ideally, I would like to be teaching high school math and either coaching or being in an ath­letic director position as well. That’s the ideal sit­u­ation. No matter what, Hillsdale has taught me you how to work hard, how to pursue a vir­tuous life, if you will, and, more than any­thing, the expe­ri­ences at Hillsdale have pre­pared me to know how to handle dif­ferent sit­u­a­tions and interact with dif­ferent people. The expe­ri­ences are the best piece of edu­cation you can get, more so than what you’ll learn in the classroom.

What is the best moment you’ve had here at Hillsdale?

One of them would be the bas­ketball team winning the con­ference last year and clinching a berth in the NCAA tour­nament. It was very exciting and a very fun trip. I was very glad and blessed to be part of the team in that way.

What has it been like being a manager and getting so close to the coaching staff?

It’s been a lot of fun. The staff are incredible people, full of life. They like to have a good time but they know exactly what they’re doing as far as bas­ketball goes. We have one of the top coaching staffs here cer­tainly in the GLIAC and you could argue in the nation as far as Division II goes. I really enjoy just talking to them about any­thing- their pasts, bas­ketball. We have very inter­esting con­ver­sa­tions.

How important is your faith to you?

Very, very important. Without it, I’d be trying to go upstream without a paddle, or however the phrase goes. This year espe­cially I’ve grown tremen­dously in it, in just learning dif­ferent aspects of what love is. Maggie and I read “The Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis over Christmas break. I would highly rec­ommend reading those. One, they taught me more about human nature than any­thing else, and our sin­fulness in a way that you’re forced to just laugh at yourself, which is very important to do. Life is too short to not have a sense of humor.

What has been one of the most embar­rassing moments you’ve expe­ri­enced here at Hillsdale?

It actually hap­pened a few weeks ago. I had to take my shell out, my pros­thesis out to clean it. In doing so, at our sink upstairs at Sigma Chi, when I was cleaning it, it slipped out of my hands and slipped down the sink and we had to take the sink apart to find it. So I guess my eye slipped down the sink. Aaron Snider started calling me “sink boy” after that episode. Another time when I was pres­ident, we were in a chapter meeting and I was rubbing my eye and it actually fell out and bounced out on the floor. I was like “can someone pick that up for me?” So those are two funny eye stories right there.