An Interview with Anthony Perry(’03)
Q: What do you remember about your decision to attend University of Jamestown? How did you know it was the place for you?
A: In looking for a college, I wanted to play football, but I also wanted to be involved in areas off the field. Jamestown gave me the chance to be an active participant in Choir, Student Government, Resident Living, Theater, and lots of other on-campus activities. I never really felt that the other colleges I looked at had quite as much to offer as Jamestown College did in regards to getting involved in activities off the field and outside of the classroom.
Q: What were some of your best memories from University of Jamestown? Favorite class, professor, extra curricular or social activity?
A: Meeting my wife Alissa, the European Choir Tour, being in the band The Scott Farkas Affair, befriending my Turkish roommate Basar, beating Dakota State 50-0 in my last football game ever, playing music at L2 when it was coolest spot on campus. When it comes to Professors I was truly blessed to have been under the study of so many wonderful teachers. Dr. Stone, Dr. Watts, and Tom Dilocker come to mind, as their character and wisdom played roles in my life even after graduation.
Q: After graduation, what were the first steps you took towards your career?
A: After graduation, Alissa and I loaded up two cars and moved to Las Vegas, and I can say that a “career” wasn’t foremost on my mind. But what did stick with me was some of the sound business advice that Professor Dilocker gave me in regards to communicating with people in the business world. He had a way of blending classroom academics with street education, and I think that the tools he gave me towards communication have been one of my biggest employment assets since leaving Jamestown College.
Q: Has there ever been a moment when you knew that your education from University of Jamestown put you ahead of others or gave you a leg up in your life?
A: When I first read this question my immediate thought was “No.” But after further consideration, I have a few comments on the idea. First, I think that merely considering yourself ahead of others based on where you went to college is a bit pretentious. If saying “I went to Jamestown College” would grant me some magic pass in life, I have apparently missed the opportunity to say it. However, there is a sense of pride and community that I feel with Jamestown that I have not seen with alumni of fellow North and South Dakota Colleges and Universities. I’m amazed at how many times in my life I’ve been approached by someone who is a fellow JC graduate, and it always seems like they are extremely positive in their discussion of the college and their time there. I think a diverse curriculum is very beneficial, especially when you want your graduates to go out into the world and be able to think for themselves. I remember my years including classes like Comparative Culture, Creative Writing, and Film Appreciation, which by some standards wouldn’t be viewed as necessary classes. But when I think about Business in today’s world, just imagine how vital a role those classes influences have on Marketing and Sales, International Markets, and Advertising. In conclusion, I do think that giving your students the opportunity to be well rounded is something JC gives more precedence to than other colleges, and I think that having that precedence gives graduates the opportunity to get a leg up in life if they take advantage of it.
Q: What does an average day in your life look like now?
A: At 5am I wake up and get ready for my day at the Minnesota Correctional Facility located in St. Cloud. I have been an Officer there for almost 8 years, and currently work our “2nd” Watch, which is from 6am-2:30pm. If anyone reading this has ever traveled Highway 10 through Central MN, you can’t miss it, the Prison is behind that gigantic granite wall that stretches along the highway outside of St. Cloud. After work I return home to my wife and four children, Ayla (6), Aidan (4), Annabella (2), and Avara (8 months). When I’m not at home in the evening I’m usually rehearsing with my band “Goodnight Roxy” or playing gigs around town.
Q: Have you been back to University of Jamestown? Was there anything that caught your attention?
A: We have been back for several Homecoming weekends, as well as making a few stops when I travel from MN to my hometown in Montana. Progress is the thing that catches my eye. I remember how many buildings were torn down or erected when I was at Jamestown, and now there are even more facilities than I thought possible on campus! It makes me wish I could go back and take advantage of those new facilities.
Q: Do you still keep in touch with anyone you went to school with?
A: Yes I do, (albeit not nearly as many as I’d like to), and the beauty about the relationships you make at JC is that no matter how far down the road you go, you can always have that backstory with your college friends. Even if we only see each other once or year, or just talk over the phone, we never lose sight of who we were, and who we are now. We have all those years at JC together, and it truly gives you the foundation to build a lasting friendship.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to add about your time at University of Jamestown or your life now?
A: Getting to be a part of a community like Jamestown College is a difficult task to replicate out in the world. I was involved in just about everything I could be, and yet I still feel like I should have done and could have done more. Jamestown College truly is its own little world, and that can be a great thing when it comes to building relationships with other people. Those relationships are what make the years after JC even more rewarding.