Ryan Secor ’16 was the proverbial little kid with a hockey stick. Immersed in the sport from the age of seven as he grew up in the environs of Albany, New York, Secor played on traveling leagues and improved his skills at hockey camps. In high school, attending one such camp held at Clarkson University, he came under the wing of Coach George Roll, who, in 2012, was charged with setting up a hockey program for Nazareth College. Roll remembered Secor, a talented defenseman, and invited him for a campus visit.
Secor, who was attending the prestigious preparatory school Albany Academy, knew that he was looking for two things: a school where he could play hockey and study business administration. At Nazareth, he found those things and more. “I thought Nazareth had a beautiful campus and there was a real feeling of home,” Secor recalls. “People were really excited about the new hockey program, too, and that all came together to help me make my decision.”
Another factor in Secor’s decision-making was the endowed scholarship he was offered. He is the first member of his family to attend a four-year college, and he needed to figure out the economics of a college tuition. The Nazareth Fund, which supports such scholarships, makes it possible for students like Secor to realize a college education.
Secor found it exciting to be part of Nazareth’s inaugural 2012-13 team. “Everyone in the school is really there for you,” he says. “It’s amazing to hear the screaming from the stands.” That level of support has also been there for him academically, and he would recommend Nazareth to any prospective college athlete. “If you truly love the sport you’re playing and are lucky enough to find a college you can really play it in, that’s awesome,” Secor says. “Here at Nazareth the professors understand your situation and the responsibilities that athletes take on. I can honestly say that the entire staff supports you and wants you to become a better person.”