Nate Harris ‘08
While living in Springfield, Mass., Nate Harris ‘08 helped found BUILD (Brothers United to Inspire Lifestyle Development), a mentorship program for young black and brown boys in the area. While looking for a location to host their summer summit, he decided to turn to the place he often turns to for help: his alma mater, Springfield College.
“They gave us the space for free and have been supportive of the program ever since,” he said. “That’s just the power of Springfield College and why I’m so passionate about them.”
That passion is why Harris continues to find it so easy to give both his time and financial support to Springfield College.
“When you love something, you want to see it be great. So it’s important for me to give because I want to see Springfield College succeed and for it to be greater for today’s students than it was for me,” he said.
Harris currently works for a venue management company in the Richmond area and credits his experiences as a sport management major at Springfield College for preparing him for his career. It was his advisor, Kevin McCallister, EdD, associate professor of sport management, who encouraged him to participate in experiential learning opportunities.
As a student, Harris was able to attend FLAME (Finding Leaders Among Minorities Everywhere) at the United States Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs, serve as vice president of the sport management club, and become manager for the women's basketball team.
In the latter position, he developed a relationship with Coach Naomi Graves that led to an internship with the New York Knicks.
“I was at MSG every day. I helped move in Mike D’Antoni, helped with the pre-draft workouts, and even got to meet Russell Westbrook,” Harris said.
Prior to enrolling at Springfield College, Harris described himself as shy. He said that the student leadership opportunities helped him find his voice.
“The Fellowship of Christian Athletes was the group I first connected with and helped me come out of my shell. The sport management club taught me to be a leader and the multicultural affairs community really connected me with people who are like me. I enjoyed all those experiences,” he said.
Harris says his greatest mentor was the late John Wilson, who encouraged Harris to come back to campus after graduation and mentor current students, advice Harris has followed to this day.
Additionally, Harris serves on the alumni council and has worked tirelessly with the Office of Alumni Relations and the Office of Multicultural Affairs to engage with alumni of color in finding ways to work with the College to improve the campus climate for current students of color.
“How do we keep the College accountable to doing the work, to do it well and do it right? Because I love Springfield College, I want to see it continue to do well and get better,” he said.