In Fords in Four, we ask an alumnus four questions; he shares insights and stories. In this blog post, Joshua C. Ridenhour '17 shares reflections on lessons learned and tips for staying connected. After Josh graduated from The Haverford School, he attended Skidmore College, where he contributed social media content for Skidmore College Sports and Skidmore Men’s Soccer accounts. He served as a writer and editor for a weekly publication and as a radio show co-host. He graduated in 2021 and joined The Haverford School's development team, where he fosters connections with fellow alumni as an alumni & development officer.
What remains consistent about the School, from your time as a student to today?
The most consistent aspect of the School is the community and brotherhood that embraces all of those who attend the school. Haverford has a way of making you feel like you matter; making you feel that you’re cared for. Coming back as a staff member, the experience was the same. In this way, and among many others, the community is unlike any other I’ve been a part of.
Describe a crucial moment or decision that greatly influenced your life or career.
One decision that has influenced my life and way of thought was getting my first tattoo. For so long I had desired to get one and had already had enough of my own deliberating. One day, I called in to a tattoo shop nearby, scheduled an appointment and, a couple of days later, I got my arm inked. The process was simple: I called a number, sat down in a chair for about an hour, and paid the man, but the manifestation of something I wanted stuck with me. Three tattoos later, and I still hold true to the idea that I can make a reality of anything I set my mind to.
What's a lesson or memory that you carry with you from your days as a Haverford School student?
One of the best lessons I received while at Haverford came from my advisor, English teacher, track coach, and mentor, Mr. Kolade. In one of our English classes, Mr. Kolade mentioned to the group that, in writing, one does not need to proclaim the phrase “I think” or “I believe,” as your voice and beliefs are already voiced when you speak or write. To this day, I’ve carried that lesson with me in conversations, writing, and public speaking presentations. My voice is stronger because of it. Shoutout Mr. Kolade!
Although I have a plethora of great memories from my time at Haverford, my favorite memory occurred during my senior year in 2017. It was EA Day Spirit Week and one of the community events leading up to EA Day was a wing eating contest. In addition to the few students participating was Mr. Green, the Head of the Upper School at the time. I’ve never seen a man eat wings with such vigor. He ended up winning the competition too, and it wasn’t even close.
How do you maintain your Haverford School connections and relationships?
Graduway! Haverford’s Alumni Platform is great for keeping connected with guys, as well as networking where and if needed. The Platform also shares updates on school events, alumni receptions, and much more. Sign up here: Haverfordschoolalumni.org.