So We Run: A Bench Warmer’s Goal
Keith Krass, 24
Major: English/Secondary Education
Hometown: Beach Park, Illinois
At the start of each basketball season, Keith Krass was given a pair of brand new Nike basketball sneakers. For most players this would be a welcomed perk to being an athlete, but Krass, an ’08 English and secondary education graduate from Beach Park, IL, spent more time cheering his teammates on from the sidelines than breaking in his new shoes.
“I started feeling bad about the fact that these shoes that I was never going to use were piling up in the bottom of my closet,” said Krass. And then, his junior year, Krass went on a missions trip to Taiwan with the basketball team. There he met kids who weren’t allowed to play sports because footwear was a requirement that they couldn’t meet.
Krass never forgot the simple need he saw for shoes, even after he’d graduated and become Gordon’s assistant men’s basketball coach, helping lead the team to win The Commonwealth Coast Conference championship game in February of 2010.
With basketball shoes in mind, he spearheaded the non-profit organization So We Run with fellow Gordon graduate, Ryan Smith ‘04. Their mission is to give lightly worn shoes to those in need, whether in Wenham or abroad. This summer Krass and Smith will be traveling to Guatemala where they’ll bring two hundred pairs of children’s shoes to an orphanage and help with construction.
“I know that my desire to serve comes in part from experiences I had at Gordon, said Krass. “From conversations with professors, to chapel talks, to making 1,400 pancakes and serving them to students out of our Bromley apartment window—just for fun, I learned a lot about the importance of helping others.”
Because he believes so much in the mission of Gordon College, Krass began working at Gordon after graduation not only as the assistant men’s basketball coach but also the assistant program director for Christian ministries.
“As a Gordon student I was pushed spiritually, emotionally, athletically and intellectually,” said Krass. “I’m a guy who had to pay for my education 100% in loans and I have no regrets because the positive growing and maturing that I did in those four years was worth every penny.”
—Natalie Ferjulian, 2011