Senior Series: Joseph Hemry

Kacie Kwan, Staff Writer

What does life look like after college? This question that heavily weighs on some college students may also inspire them in their hope-filled dreams and passion. While most seniors eagerly plan to join the workforce, anxiously figure out their living situations, or spontaneously fulfill their wishes of traveling the world, graduating fourth-year student Joseph Hemry will go off to school … again. 

The biology-biochemistry double major recently got accepted into Loma Linda Medical School in San Bernardino, just a few hours south of Westmont. Hemry hopes to “eventually become a practicing physician back home in Alaska,” where he loves to spend time in nature when he isn’t studying. Just a few weeks after graduating from the Mont, Hemry will embark on his journey to becoming a doctor. 

For now, Hemry has his eyes set on finishing his “pretty weird” journey in collegiate athletics: playing his last season of tennis with the Westmont Warriors Men’s team. As a first-year student, Hemry made his mark and won the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) West Regions Rookie of the Year Award in 2019.

However, despite his initial, promising success, Hemry did not compete all four years of college. A serious head injury, as well as the profound time commitment to classes for two majors, prevented him from playing his sophomore year. Just as COVID-19 was ramping up, Hemry left the team. As was the case for many other collegiate athletes, the devastating worldwide pandemic prolonged Hemry’s return to play until the start of his fourth and final year at Westmont. 

So, why all this back-and-forth between school and sport? Well, for Hemry, tennis holds sentimental beginnings that go back to his childhood. “My whole family plays,” he says, “including my mother and uncle, who both won national tournaments.” He sought to follow in their footsteps by playing tennis in college.

Unfortunately, the return this season has not been easy for Hemry: “Spending two years away from the game and then coming right back to it has put a lot of stress on my lower body, so I have been dealing with a few injuries,” he explains.

Despite these current challenges, his team and their potential to perform well in the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) encourage Hemry to persevere The team has had a successful season so far, defeating big-name schools and putting Westmont’s name on the map as a college with a successful tennis program. Much of this is due to the leadership Hemry has brought to the team.

We are thankful to have such an amazing athlete and student in our community and are excited to see what Hemry achieves as he leaves the place he has called home for the past four years.

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