Ask an Alum: Kory McDonald
Spirit Buggy 2007-2011
“Started as a mechanic/pusher. Rose like cream to the top to become Chairman.”
- Kory McDonald
Why did you join buggy?
I was duped into coming out one Saturday at 4:00 AM, and after hauling buggies across campus on my shoulder, chasing rolling torpedos down a hill, and freezing my balls off, I couldn’t resist.
Favorite (web-appropriate) buggy memory?
Favorite memory by far is swag surfing on the roof of the truck on race day
What's your buggy "Claim to Fame"?
Hmm...well my first year as chairman (2009-2010) we managed to DNF 4/6 buggies due to poorly tested wheel tech. Pretty demoralizing. The following year, we built Zuke and bounced back with 2 top 6 finishes.
Greatest lesson(s) you learned from Spirit Buggy?
Facing failure/adversity for the sake of progress breeds inspiration and (hopefully) success for those who come after you. Race Day 2009 was rough. Despite failing to make it to day 2, I made it a point to stage the truck in the spirit of sportsmanship. I felt it was important to make the statement that sometimes its bigger than the competition and about supporting the SPIRIT of the sport.
What was your biggest disappointment?
Every year there are seniors (and others) on the team who hope that it’s their year to win. My biggest disappointment was race day 2010 and feeling like decisions I personally made not only put my some of my best friends’ safety in jeopardy, but robbed some truly committed and deserving teammates a chance to shine.
Definitely the 2011 bounce back. Also, while standing on the shoulders of my predecessors, bringing in a wave of people who were seriously juiced about SRS buggy. Does Evan Moss ring any bells?
How is buggy helped you in your post-college life?
SRS gave me the opportunity to try and fail in a controlled environment, which was crucial to my development. Being a mechanic, athlete, and chairman put me in position to contribute in a major way and inspire others to do the same. My experience in buggy got me my first job, and stories that I share to this day about failure and recovery, versatility, and leadership enable me to describe my passion, character, and motivation beyond words. My confidence to try/do new things was cultivated in the basement of Morewood and at the intersection of Tech & Frew.
What keeps you interested in the team even after you've graduated?
One is a desire to stay connected to something that has fundamentally defined who I am and how I operate. Second is a sense of responsibility to current and future students to be a part of encouraging and inspiring them to build on a legacy and succeed in their own right.
Do you have any advice for the current students?
Anything worth doing is worth doing well. Buggy has long been looked at as just mechanics and pushers. But there's so much more to it, and from what I see you guys doing with the website and alumni engagement, I think you understand that. As you think about what buggy is for you or for potential members of the team, don't be afraid to think beyond the status quo and take it to the next level.
Be sure to look for your friends for the next Ask an Alum. If you want to be in the running for SPIRIT to reach out to you, make sure you give us your contact information so we know how to find you!