Tennis Player Wininger '17 Finds Unexpected Interest in Voyages

Clark Wininger swings an oar on the tennis courtClark Wininger ’17 came to Pacific University to play tennis.

But he’s found a lot more.

Like many student-athletes in Pacific’s NCAA Division III athletics programs, Wininger was drawn to Pacific for sports but quickly found the chance to pursue lots of other passions, from academics to the outdoors.

An avid athlete, Wininger grew up playing baseball and soccer but got into tennis when his mom signed him up for a drop-in program in his hometown of San Francisco when he was 10.

For the next eight years, he played with the same kids and the same coach, until Pacific gave him the chance to keep competing collegiately in an atmosphere he loved.

“I was looking for a small school: liberal arts, small class-type environment,” he said.

Before classes even started, Wininger had found another passion: Voyages.

The program invites incoming undergraduate students to meet peers and launch their Pacific experience with an adventure trip.

“It’s always been a big part of my upbringing, being outdoorsy, but it wasn’t something I planned on getting into at Pacific,” Wininger said. “But I fell in love with it on the trip. I’m still close friends with my Voyage mates.”

He’s gone on to lead Voyages every year since, taking new students sea kayaking, or backpacking and canoeing.

In the meantime, his advisor, Anthropology/Sociology Professor Aaron Greer, sparked a quick career interest.

“I knew I was interested in the social sciences, then I took his Comparative Religions in the Caribbean course as a freshman,” Wininger said. “It was the first class I ever took where I was really excited to know every detail.”

He soon declared his major in anthropology and, “I’ve been loving it ever since.”

At Pacific University, student-athletes are known for their involvement in a wide variety of campus and community activities beyond the sports arena. Check out more stories about our Boxer athletes.

Jul. 27, 2016