Mason Simon-Ressler

Balancing academics, athletics, military service

NAME: Mason Simon-Ressler 

CLASS YEAR: 2017

HOMETOWN: Farley, Iowa 

MAJOR: Fitness management

RANK: Specialist, Iowa Army National Guard, 133rd Infantry Battalion

WHY WARTBURG: Wartburg stands for so much more than higher education. The college’s academic reputation, extremely competitive athletics, facilities, class sizes and community are what attracted me. But most importantly, it was the people. I wanted to surround myself with people who realized the importance of character, class, and a positive environment. Wartburg supports the idea that no challenge or dream is too big. Everyone was very friendly, positive, and did not question you if you thought you could accomplish anything. The college has provided support from day one. And, on the day I visited, the whole campus smelled like chocolate from the Nestle factory, and I thought that was so cool.

Mason Simon-Ressler

HOW DOES YOUR MILITARY SERVICE CONNECT TO YOUR WARTBURG EXPERIENCE AND THE COLLEGE’S MISSION? Being involved and volunteering has shown me the importance of the Wartburg mission. At Wartburg students take charge of their learning, incorporating service, freedom of faith, and going above and beyond as leaders. I wanted more out of my education; I wanted to be involved and the mission statement really speaks to me. In order to grow as a person you have to challenge yourself and step out of your comfort zone. I felt a calling within to want more and discover my vocation. I knew the challenges of pursuing a degree, joining the Guard, and being part of the football team would help mold me into a better person. I am able to surround myself with excellent citizens who wanted the same things.

AS A STUDENT, WHAT SACRIFICES DO YOU MAKE FOR YOUR MILITARY SERVICE? I enlisted shortly after my freshman year, so I came to school in the fall and shipped out to boot camp and advanced individual training during the Winter Term. I returned for the following Fall Term. I’ve had to make up training so I could participate in football games. Occasionally, I have had to get an excused absence to make up training, but usually I don’t have much conflict, if any, with my academics. 

HOW DO YOUR MILITARY AND WARTBURG EXPERIENCES PREPARE YOU FOR THE FUTURE? Having a degree from Wartburg will enable me to further my military career. Both experiences have taught me skills I can take out into the world that will allow me to be a contributor to society. Wartburg and the Guard place great emphasis on service for community, cause, and country. This has been a unique experience that I am grateful for and would never change.