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Travis Veenhuis '19 Reflects on Kalamazoo College Experience

Travis Veenhuis playing golf with a pull quote from the story.

At the end of his senior year, Travis Veenhuis '19 turned his junior-year internship with Zhang Financial into a full-time position as a client service associate with the firm.

While his business and math degrees from Kalamazoo College have helped him academically, his success on the golf team helped shape his work ethic.

"K taught me that there is no substitute for hard work," said the Grand Blanc, Michigan, native (Goodrich High School). "Nothing else even compares to the results you will get when you put your head down and grind it out to the best of your ability."

Veenhuis piled up accolades on the golf course, including a school record 65 as medalist at the Rose-Hulman Spring Invitational in 2018. He also tied for third in school history with a 74.7 season average that year. Veenhuis is also a two-time Golf Coaches Association of America All-American Scholar.

Veenhuis said the friendships he made at Kalamazoo College and honing his competitive skills helped shape his future.

"I can list every single college teammate I have ever had because those guys were my best friends," he said. "Being a student-athlete allowed me to exercise one of my biggest personality traits: competitiveness."

Veenhuis credits his faith, parents, and golf coach Mitch Wilson as instrumental in his success at K.

"I want to first acknowledge my faith for helping me keep a strong mental foundation these last four years," he said. "Next is my parents for providing me the opportunity to come to Kalamazoo College in the first place.

"Coach Wilson has seen the ultimate struggles and ultimate successes from me, and taught me that life will also have both. What really matters though, is how we manage ourselves in those times of struggles and success."


Kalamazoo College prepares its graduates to better understand, live successfully within, and provide enlightened leadership to a richly diverse and increasingly complex world. The College's 1,467 students come from 39 states and 28 countries. Through the K-Plan, Kalamazoo College provides an individualized education that integrates rigorous academics with life-changing experiential learning opportunities, including study abroad, career internships and externships, civic engagement and social justice work. K's student-faculty ratio of 13-to-1 allows for small classes and personal attention to individual needs; student-faculty interaction goes beyond the classroom to include working together on research projects, college committees, and community projects. At Kalamazoo College, we do more in four years so students can do more in a lifetime.