Cleve Holmes Studied, Served and Wrestled at Western
Sept. 16, 2008 -- Meeting his wife Tara (Dell) Holmes, at Western is the most significant memory from Cleveland Holmes's college career.
Cleveland, who many at Western know as "Cleve," was also on the wrestling team, served in the Student Government Association, and was enrolled in the Army as a reservist. He graduated, with a major in Environmental Chemistry in 2005.
Cleveland and his wife both lived in the Mears complex as freshman, but they didn't begin dating until they were both Residence Assistants (RAs) in the same building a year later.
Tara graduated in 2004 with a degree in English. She now works for Western as a Front Range admissions counselor. The couple lives in Parker, Colorado. They have two children, Lilly, who will turn three in September, and Quinn, who was born this January.
He found Western through wrestling and as a freshman became a walk on. His coach, Miles VanHee was one of Cleve's many mentors at Western. "Coach VanHee was someone I knew I could always go to for honest and accurate assessments for what I was doing with my life," he said. "VanHee was always having me trying to give my best, not just in wrestling, but in my personal life."
"I personally attached to so many professors, not just with questions on homework, but how am I going to manage my wife and kid with assignments and practices," Cleveland added.
"The whole chemistry department was important to me," he said. "I was studying at Western for such a long time period because of my deployment."
Cleveland was deployed to Iraq from January of 2003 to April of 2004.
Anne Ryter, professor of chemistry, was his advisor, and he speaks of her highly with the advice she gave with regards to life decisions and academia. From Dale Orth, who is also a professor of chemistry, he, "got a lot of my work ethic. He taught me principles and not just numbers."
Cleveland also learned much from Greg Waggoner, director of the athletic department. "I learned how to present myself in a professional manner, and how to deliver points to a group of people effectively from Dr. Waggoner."
Today Cleveland is a staff sergeant in the Army. He returned home this July from his second deployment to Iraq.
He is also on the police force in Parker, Colorado.
He credits many of the lessons he learned at Western with his success today, "I got a degree and now I work in an unrelated field. But my professors set me up for success. They taught me universal things like hard work ethics. My professors and coaches at Western were good at seeing something in me and what potential I had."
Story by: Luke Mehall, assistant director of public relations
This piece originally appeared in the Fall 2008 issue of the Westerner, the WSC alumni magazine.