For long-time Defiance College baseball coach and educator Craig Rutter, a decision he made in the fall of 1998 to go out of his way after teaching a class to say hello to the college president and a colleague who were talking in the hallway led to a life-changing moment.
Within a span of five days and at the urging of then DC president Jim Harris, Rutter took his first international trip to Jamaica to help plan the college’s first service learning trip to the Caribbean island nation the following year.
Little did he know at the time, it would be the first of 28 trips he would make to Jamaica and eventually mean an end to 18 years of coaching college baseball and the start of a new assignment at DC — leading the college’s service learning program.
Even more important was the positive impact that decision would have on a number of female Jamaican high school students whose lives showed the promise for greater things, but they lacked the adult encouragement to realize that promise.
Rutter told Archbold Rotarians how the Jamaican experience and the service learning program have been life-changing — not only for him, but for the Defiance College and Jamaican students and families that he came to know as a result of those trips and the projects that they completed over the years.
Some of the Jamaican girls eventually earned international scholarships to attend Defiance College. After 20 years, it’s a story that he has put into a book, “Do What You Do Best.”
Pictured in the photo from left: Marc Fruth, Archbold Rotarian to who arranged the program, and Craig Rutter.
The program was arranged by Marc Fruth.