THE INTER-MOUNTAIN - Student athletes at Davis & Elkins College heard from a former Senator Monday who offered many lessons while encouraging students to be passionate and have integrity throughout their journey in life.
Henry W. “Hank” Steinbrecher, a graduate of the D&E class of 1971, said, “The job of your professors is to stress you and to stretch you because, you’re all athletes, you know that if you don’t use a muscle, you lose the muscle. If you don’t use your intellectual capacity in all of your research to stretch your involvement, to stretch your capabilities, to reach higher than you ever thought you could reach and to stress you in order to do that, that really is an achievement.”
The speaker offered a number of life lessons to those who attended the inauguration festivities on Monday evening, and also offered support to new D&E President Chris Wood.
“President Wood, congratulations. You’ve got a team pulling behind you, and I’m sure that this school is going to go to even greater heights,” Steinbrecher said. “You know that success is never a solitary venture. You have a lot of people pulling for your success.”
During his visit, Steinbrecher described D&E as a great and blessed institution, adding the teammates and friends students will make during their time at the school will be friends and supporters for life.
“Hard work pays off, but it alone is not the ticket to success,” Steinbrecher said.
Steinbrecher explained that advice from his father encouraged him to make his work fun, helping to make his life fun.
“Hard work and intellect are only two ingredients for success, but they are not the keys to success,” he added. “Passion is essential in everything you do.”
During the Brooklyn native’s time at D&E, Steinbrecher was a member of the men’s soccer team. In 1970, the team worked their way to the top and claimed the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics national championship title.
“I took great pride in the fact that I had played on a team that won a national championship,” he said. “I take great pride in the fact that I served as a member of the team that helped build a facility that gives young people an opportunity to play, to play at a high level, and to play with consistency.”
Steinbrecher is among many who work to support D&E’s athletic programs, as he is one of the founding members of Friends of Senator Soccer. In addition, the school honored Steinbrecher and other alumni for their devotion to raising funds for an artificial turf soccer and lacrosse field.
Since his time in Elkins, the Senator has received recognition for his many successes among which include being named to the D&E Athletic Hall of Fame, National Soccer Hall of Fame and West Virginia Soccer Association Hall of Fame, and earning the Werner Fricker Award, which honors individuals who are dedicated to and heavily involved in the sport and will hold a lasting legacy in U.S. soccer.
Steinbrecher also served as secretary general of U.S. Soccer from 1990-2000, overseeing and organizing the Men’s and Women’s World Cups.
“It’s terrific to be back in the comfort of these mountains. As a student they always felt like a warm quilt to me, so it’s good to return to these mountains,” Steinbrecher said.