Junior Ronnie Lord knows success comes with continued hard work and a little faith. Even as a two-time United States Intercollegiate Boxing Association national champion and Michigan Golden Gloves champion, Ronnie hasn’t accomplished all of his goals quite yet. Next on his list are a bachelor’s degree in business administration from The University of Olivet and a spot boxing in the 2020 Summer Olympics.
Growing up in Los Angeles, Ronnie describes himself as a past troublemaker. At the age of 14, Ronnie’s father sparked the idea that his son would gain some much-needed discipline by taking a boxing class. “I wasn’t crazy about the idea at first but decided to give boxing a try and ended up really enjoying it,” Ronnie said. “Throughout high school, I focused my energy on football and didn’t consistently box. After I graduated, I felt empty without an outlet for competition and boxing naturally came back to me. My competitive nature is a self-reflection of what I can do and who I am. Being put in tough situations and feeling the pressure forces the best to come out in me. I surprise myself all the time.”
Ronnie continued his education at a local community college while spending his free time traveling to a boxing gym nearly an hour from his home. He felt content, shaping a successful career path and having the opportunity to participate in his number one passion. “I was happy in LA, especially being near my family and friends,” Ronnie said. “But I felt like there may be more out there; I just wasn’t sure how to find it.”
Well, Ronnie didn’t have to look far, because “more” found him by way of The University of Olivet Boxing Coach Loren Partlo.
Coach Partlo noticed Ronnie’s credentials on a national boxing registry and reached out to him. Ronnie didn’t need to think twice before jumping at the opportunity he had been hoping for. Quickly, Ronnie was on his way to The University of Olivet with a Talent Scholarship in boxing forging his new path. There was only one sliver of doubt – Ronnie had never visited campus, let alone experienced living in a small, rural town.
“You can’t be afraid to try new things,” Ronnie stressed. “I was sure the risk of feeling uncomfortable in my new environment was worth the reward of joining the OC boxing team. My worries washed away when I felt the kindness of everyone on campus and connected with my teammates. I love walking across the street to train and easily building relationships with professors and coaches thanks to the small class and team sizes.”
As part of the OC boxing team, Ronnie has gained access to competitions that significantly increase his recognition in the sport, necessary to reach the Olympic level. This summer, Ronnie even stayed on campus to ensure he would have training gear right next door. On a typical day, he runs four to six miles, including sprints, and spends several hours doing boxing workouts with traditional punching bags and speed bags. Ideally, eight rounds of sparring with an opponent is completed as well. Mirrors are also an essential tool for training, allowing Ronnie to analyze and critique his form. And those jump ropes you see boxers using in the movies aren’t just for show; they’re another great conditioning tool.
“I’m making sure to stay dedicated to my goals, and I’m definitely still practicing that discipline my dad made sure I developed,” Ronnie said. “I’m always thinking about my future. Boxing professionally would be a dream come true, but I’m interested in real estate too and am intrigued with my studies in business. Boxing has helped me network and build connections with people all over the world. I know all good things come from hard work – there’s no way around that. Understanding that in everything I do will push me to succeed wherever I find myself.”
In addition to boxing, Ronnie makes time to volunteer as an usher at The Rock, a nearby church, and serve as a resident adviser in Blair Hall. This fall, he will also begin the invitation-only President’s Leadership Institute, a yearlong training program dedicated to developing top leadership in Olivet’s students, as well as enabling them to become the principal professional and community leaders of the future.
“You have to constantly do the best you can, whether that be in homework or a sport,” Ronnie explained. “The University of Olivet will be what you make it. Your experience will be based on how hard you work, so strive for greatness and continue to push yourself. If you do that, opportunities will open up for you.”
Learn more about becoming a Comet, joining the boxing team and scholarship opportunities by contacting the Office of Admissions at 800.456.7189 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Schedule a campus visit to take the first step.