The skill and dominance Jeremy Wu ’20 brings to golf is apparent on the score card. He says he didn’t fully understand his mastery of golf until the day he broke an Oregon high school boys’ state tournament record for an individual round.
“It was only after the round that someone told me a 63 was the best that had ever been shot,” Jeremy says. “You’d always like to feel that way — that you can be the best.”
And, for Jeremy, it’s been a difficult accomplishment to do that even when playing with his family — because his three brothers play golf at the university level, with one already having been an All-American. His sister, playing for her high school, might even best them all some day if she wants, Jeremy assesses.
“Our family has a love of sports, but golf has been the one that has stood out,” he says. “There’s no question we feed off each other.”
But Jeremy says his golf knowledge is finding a rival in the knowledge he’s gaining as a Valparaiso University student. His athletic accomplishments gave him his share of college choices, but he was partly won over by a Valpo program that finished with the highest grade point average of any Division I team in the nation in 2015–2016.
“I might take a shot at turning pro, but you know the odds can be tough there,” says Jeremy, who made the Dean’s List in both semesters of his freshman year at Valpo. “Your grades are very important. That award makes us want to get it again. I want to do my part for myself and the team. I think a big factor in helping me do well so far has been the smaller classes — teachers have more time for you here, and they make you feel like you can come to them with anything.”
Currently enrolled in Introductory Financial Accounting with Anton Lewis, Ph.D., assistant professor of business, Jeremy recently declared a major in finance, a departure from his original pre-med path.
“Jeremy is one of the best students I have in my class, without a doubt,” Professor Lewis says. “He wants to make sense of any given topic we focus on. He’s just very engaged.”
While he’s still weighing options on what career he’d like to pursue, Jeremy says financial planner is a possibility. It certainly has parallels to golf, as it’s ultimately about risk vs. reward. Going for the green on a particular hole may get you a strong result or in trouble. And so could heavily aggressive financial investing.
“Both areas seem to require a level head,” Jeremy says. “I like people, and I could see myself helping put them at ease as they try to meet their financial goals.”
Finding the Balance
Jeremy has also found Valpo a good place for social goals as a member of fraternity Phi Kappa Psi.
“At Valpo, we’re encouraged to take the time to just be our age,” he says. “To make friends and think about more than just studies or golf. We’ll be out in the real world one day, and it’s good to take a second to just enjoy the moment.”
Men’s Golf Coach David Gring ’88 loves Jeremy’s balanced approach.
“You see it in so many things he does,” says the two-time league Coach of the Year who also played at Valpo during his college days. “Jeremy has progressed very well on the course in only his second year (including two Top 10 finishes). He takes school seriously, and his outgoing personality also fits in well.”
In fact, he is the team representative for meeting recruits and giving them a sense of the Valparaiso University experience awaiting them. “Hopefully it rubs off on them how much I enjoy the school and the team,” Jeremy says.
He ultimately would love to follow in his older brother’s All-American footsteps, but knows improvement on the course often comes with baby steps.
“It’s making your shot just a little bit better,” Jeremy says. “Or maybe getting a little more consistent with your putter. The game takes patience. But I find with a lot of things that patience can pay off.”