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ATO Philanthropy Cuties: Brennan Martin & Mark Tolley

These Alpha Tau Omega seniors will catch your eye from across campus. Brennan Martin, arrived for the interview dressed in a blue button-up flannel and dashing black sunglasses. He was quick to charm presenting me with a flower and a smile. Mark Tolley, sported a striped T-shirt and dark blue jeans, his dark brown hair blowing in the wind. Right away you can tell they have big hearts — so Campus Cutie.

HC:  What activities and clubs are you involved in and what got you interested in them?
Mark Tolley: Well, we are both in ATO. I played soccer until last year, but [then] I decided to focus on school.
Brennan Martin: I played football for a while and I was in College Mentor for Kids (CMFK) last year, but it didn’t work out this year because of scheduling conflicts. Up Til’ Dawn has been a great organization that I’ve been a part of in the past. It helps raise money for St. Jude Hospital. We are [also] starting up a bible study and a book club at ATO.

HC: I’ve been informed that you are have both served as philanthropy chairs of ATO. What have you done with that house position?
BM: This is my first semester as a philanthropy chair and we have a lot planned. We are talking about having a “Beard-tober,” where guys will grow their beards out for the Timmy Foundation or other causes in the month of October. We have already started planning a powder-puff game in the spring. All the sorority houses will have a team, and the fraternities will coach them. Hopefully, we will raise a lot of money from that, but we haven’t determined which organization we are going to donate to yet. I really like giving back, and I love ATO. I want to give ATO the best image, and I thought by being a philanthropy chair could help with that.
MT: I was the philanthropy chair for one semester. Unfortunately, we didn’t get as much accomplished as I would have liked, but we did raise a couple hundred dollars for the Timmy Foundation by going to basketball games and doing raffles at places like BW3 (Buffalo Wild Wings). People would put in a couple dollars and they would get a few tickets. It was really nice because it supported DePauw [Athletics] but also supported a cause that needed a lot of donations.

HC: So now, what are you guys studying at DePauw and how did you decide your major?
MT: I am studying Economics. It is interesting to me, and I like playing around with money. I am planning on doing investment banking or financial consulting. Later, I might go and get my MBA.
BM: I am a Communications major, but my emphasis is more in media arts because I want to go into media production or something like that. This past semester, I was an editing intern for Sports Fox Detroit. I also have made a couple commercials and a short film for D3TV. If they had a class for D3TV, I would be all for it, but it is just hard right now to be more involved in D3TV with everything else I have on my plate this semester.

HC: Sounds like you guys have a plan. In your four years at DePauw who has made the biggest impact on you?
MT: Keith Stanford. He was big in getting me to DePauw. He’s leaving now, so it’s tough to see him go. He has always been a great friend to me. He would call me and [he] always remembers people’s face, parents’ names, and their interests. It will be really hard to see him go.
BM: Professor Sununu. She was my first professor at DePauw. She would run in with her books and would say in her soft voice, “Welcome to English.” She has continued to e-mail me in hopes to do a reunion with my freshman year English class to see how we are all doing.

HC: Is there anything you regret not doing at DePauw?
BM: I wish I could have swam in President Casey’s pool.
MT: I wish I had taken more art classes because I always liked art. I went to Rome on Winter Term and saw really cool pieces of art by Picasso. I wish I just had learned more about art during my time here.

HC: What do you think DePauw students must do during their time here?
MT: I think students need to do a boulder run, but of course that’s obvious. I think students need to go to the nature park. My freshman year, I maybe went once or twice. It was really cold out, and there wasn’t much of a scenery, but last year I went on a run with one of my friends, and the run was so awesome with all of the trees around. I don’t think the nature park is utilized enough by DePauw students.
BM: I think DePauw students need to explore more of Greencastle. I know a lot of people think there isn’t a lot to do, but if you go west off-campus, there are some really beautiful houses and farms out there.

HC: What is the funniest memory you have at DePauw?
MT: There is a tradition that the day of the first snow you do a boulder run. So, this guy I knew got out of his first class at one [o’clock] in the afternoon and he was encouraged to run to the boulder during the passing period of classes. After he ran to the boulder, he ran back to his friends holding his clothes. He didn’t realize that public safety was fifteen feet behind him. He had to talk to public safety, and he asked public safety, “Can I put my clothes on first.” Everyone was watching this all go down.
BM: We have this event at ATO called Whitey Tighty Basketball. During senior week, everyone in the house goes outside to play basketball against different classes. Sixty-five guys and I decided to do a boulder stroll. We just had our underwear on, and we walked over to the boulder. One of my brothers brought his library book for some reason. He randomly decided to return his library book in his underwear, as everyone outside the library chanted him on. It was probably one of the funnier moments at I’ve had at DePauw.

HC: What piece of advice would you give to freshman?
MT: Don’t be afraid to try something new. Multiple times, I did certain things, like taking a [different] class or joining a house, in which I was hesitant to do. Every time I’ve taken a chance like these, it has turned out great. You meet new people doing these things. I met a lot of great people who I wouldn’t have met if I didn’t try some new things.
BM: Wake up in the morning, put a smile on your face, and say, “Yes.” There is so much to do on campus, so why restrict your limits on the circle of friends you have? I have a lot of friends all over campus because I just smiled at them or said yes to going places with them. I had one friend who came up to me and asked me to be in a play. I said yes and had a blast. I made really good friends getting involved with that. Always keep a positive mindset.

HC: Can you describe your best date please?
BM: I had a girlfriend, and I decided to take her out to the nature park at 9:30/10 at night. Earlier that day, I set up a blanket and placed candles on it with a bottle of apple juice. It was a beautiful night, but when we got there everything I had set up was gone. I thought, “What am I going to do?” So I had this hobby in high school, which was geo-caching. It’s this GPS that finds geo-caches. We found a geo-cache in a cemetery. It was scary, so, of course, we started holding hands.
MT: Each semester at ATO, we have a formal in different cities. It was my date’s first time in Louisville, which was pretty sweet. We were dressed up really nice and could act like adults for a night. It was fun trying something new with a girl I was interested in. We walked in the city and, like Brennan said, I got a little hand holding in.

HC: What qualities must a girl have for you to be interested?
BM: A girl has to be spontaneous. She has to roll with the tide. She has to have a smile on her face and have a positive attitude. She has to understand boundaries between the guys and her. Monday night football is always going to be with the guys.
MT: She has to be down to earth. I like to joke around, and I like a girl who is understanding and knows that is just who I am. I also like a girl who is spontaneous and understands the boundaries in the relationship. I want her to be independent.

HC: What are ways you show a girl you are interested in her?
BM: It all begins with the look in your eye. If you can keep eye contact with her and let her know you are into her, the girl will catch the vibe because girls are smarter than guys…well, sometimes.
MT: Probably telling her that I like her. Being with her outside of a party is important, because sometimes when you are at a party, you are focused on other things as well. Go to Plainfield and [to] the mall to let her know you enjoy her company.

HC: What is the biggest turn off in a girl?
BM: If a girl doesn’t know how to hang out with other people.
MT: A girl who doesn’t give you your own personal space and nags too much. She has to like my friends because I am going to be with them a lot.

HC: What do you think guys’ biggest mistake is with girls?
BM: Insensitivity. Since a lot of people come into college with this preconceived notion that college is a time for sex, alcohol, and other things, people come in guarded and insensitive to others. They need to just get to know the girl, because often times the girl is much more than just what’s on the surface.
MT: You come into college thinking it is parties and girls. You think you are only going to hook up with the best looking girl, but you miss out on meeting really cool girls who might have the same exact interests as you. As you get older, you realize there are people who are shallow and people who are deep. Sometimes you don’t always look for that at parties.

HC: What qualities do you have that make you a campus cutie?
BM: I have been told I have great legs. But in all seriousness, I had no idea I was going to be asked to do this. I think I am a pretty genuine guy, and if you asked some of my closest friends, they would probably give the same answer. Beyond my legs, there is a lot more to my story.
MT: I get along with everyone I meet. I never go out of my way to be rude or mean to someone. There is more that meets the eye with me. I have a great smile, but my legs are not as good as Brennan’s.

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