It’s a Home Run: Faculty and Staff Build Connections on the Field

By Leah Veldhuisen ’19

Professor Emeritus of History Bill Hochman’s legacy continues not only in the classroom, but also on the softball field. Hochman started and coached the faculty and staff intramural softball team in 1955 and they continue to play every spring.

Heather Stapish, payroll manager, has been on the team since 1999 and is also the current captain. She was appointed by Hochman two years ago when it became more difficult for him to make it to the games. Stapish enjoys carrying on Hochman’s legacy of the team, and says “He loved this sport and he LOVED this team.”

Associate Professor of English Steven Hayward has been on the team for the entire 10 years he has worked at CC, and says “I joined on the advice of Susan Ashley, who was then dean of the college. She said I’d love it and she was right.” The team plays against student intramural teams, allowing for more connections between students, staff, and faculty outside of the classroom. “It’s great to meet your students outside of the classroom and compete; it’s a wonderful, sort of secret, campus community,” Hayward says.

Stapish adds that she enjoys being around the students, which is also what led Hochman to start the team originally. Additionally, many of the staff and faculty have been on the team for years, and Hayward explains that these friendships are the best part of being on the team. Relationships built on the faculty and staff team continue off the field, as Hayward reminisces:

“My nickname on the team is Hammer, given to me initially by Professor (Peter) Wright in the Religion Department and then adopted by Bill Hochman. One time there was a faculty meeting at which I made a particularly contentious point that Hochman agreed with. He stood up to say so. ‘Hammer’s right,’ he said. No one knew who he was talking about, but it’s in the minutes of the meeting.”

Games are played on Armstrong West Quad, Tava Quad, and Tutt Science Quad. View the schedule and find out how you can get in on the action.