Truman Review Spring 2002 - Index

Summer 2002
Vol. 7. No.1


Internships: Test-Driving a Career in Washington, D.C.

Around the Quad
Faculty / Student Profiles
Foundation News
Alumni News

Class Notes*

*The Class Notes section for this issue is no longer available online. To request a copy of Class Notes for this issue, e-mail

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Truman Review Summer 2002 - Profiles

Joe Donley

Old-Fashioned Sportsmanship

For Joe Donley, playing the rough-and-tumble sport of rugby has taught him more than just how to compete.

Joe Donley

It's known for being a rough sport. It is also known for being a "gentlemanly" sport with players who are often doctors, lawyers, and executives. To Joe Donley, rugby - a club sport at Truman - is more than just competition. Despite carrying a full load of coursework and participating in the National Guard, Donley manages to find time to play the position of hooker on Truman's rugby team. This business administration major from St. Louis, Mo., often finds himself out on the rugby field when the trials of college life start to wear on him. "For me, I never want to leave the field, whether playing a game or just running jingle jangles," says Donley, who describes his team position as a "battering ram."

Dating back to the 19th century, the game of rugby has been described as "soccer meets all-star wrestling." It requires mental toughness combined with the ability to take physical hits, yet the players never seem to lose the spirit of the game. For Truman's rugby team, Homecoming highlights one of the best games of the season. Between 20 and 30 former Truman rugby players converge on campus Homecoming weekend to challenge the current team. "It is probably the most fun and most contentious game of the year," says rugby coach Bill Sexton.

The ferocity of the alumni game is matched by the camaraderie, friendship and sportsmanship found among the players - both past and present. The ongoing dedication of the players is demonstrated through the support the team receives from alumni. Donley has been the recipient of two rugby playing awards underwritten by alumni, which paid his club dues for the following season. Alumni contributions also help with travel expenses and will fund two $500 scholarships that the team will be giving to two incoming freshmen this fall. "The support of the alumni makes playing on the rugby team a lot easier because, with that assistance, we do not have to worry so much about the financial burden," says Donley.

Serving as the team's current treasurer, one of Donley's responsibilities is collecting club dues. His ability to combine popularity with a ruthless efficiency for the job impressed the team's coach. "Joe was able to hound people in such a way that they were not offended," says Sexton. Consequently, it comes as no surprise that one of Donley's favorite classes at Truman has been organizational behavior. "I like knowing how to motivate people that you are in charge of," says Donley. "You learn a lot about how to be a leader and a manager."

Donley will have a chance to exercise even more of his exceptional motivational skills during the upcoming year when he serves as team captain. "Election to captain by your teammates is the highest honor," says Sexton. "It has evolved from being a popularity contest to a matter of who do we want to lead us, who has the right motivation and who has the right on-field persona." With Donley at the helm, the rugby team will continue its sporting tradition - enduring a few scrapes and bruises along the way.