Angus Viebranz ’20, a senior goalie on the Panther men’s lacrosse team, returned to campus last fall after taking some time off from school. The history major with a minor in Spanish from Chester, New Jersey talks about his path to rejoining the program after working through personal struggles.
You’re running the New York City Marathon in November, and you're doing so as an advocate for a non-profit organization?
I am indeed running the New York City Marathon this year! I am representing Runwell, the Linda Quirk Foundation. Runwell is as much a movement as an organization. It is people coming together to provide financial and other support to those seeking recovery from addiction and mental illness. Runwell helps people live healthy and fulfilling lives. It partners fitness with addiction treatment which has proven to help people maintain their sobriety.
Runwell’s mission is incredibly important to me as I will be celebrating three years of sobriety next year. I left Middlebury in the middle of my second semester not knowing if I would ever return.
Who has been your biggest support since returning to campus?
I could not have asked for a more welcoming, supportive group of guys to be by my side in my last years of college. As at most schools, alcohol plays a role in college life and people are often unfamiliar with the idea of recovery, but every member of the men’s lacrosse team has supported me in my sobriety since my return last fall. It has been my goal to show people that it is possible to have a rich and fulfilling college experience while in recovery.
What do you like to do when you aren’t in the classroom or on the field?
I’m taking five courses while preparing for the lacrosse season and training for the marathon. It doesn’t leave much free time. I also spend time cycling which I really enjoy and I love exploring all the hiking trails around Middlebury. I am also a member of the Student Investment Committee. It is a small fund that is student run and gives those who are interested in finance a collective space to talk about the markets and different investment strategies.
What did you do this past summer?
I interned for a small, Boston-based alternative investment firm, Clear Brook Advisors for six weeks. I am going to pursue a career in financial services and this internship provided me with valuable insight about how the alternative investment sector operates. I had one day off before returning to Middlebury where I was enrolled in the Spanish School. The Middlebury Language Schools are intensive, full immersion language programs that attract people from all over the globe. I completed the highest undergraduate level and left with a strong proficiency in Spanish.
Can you remember when you first became interested in lacrosse?
My father played lacrosse at Middlebury (Class of 1975) and I have wanted to be a Panther since I was little. I played many sports growing up, but lacrosse was always my favorite. It was only during high school that I realized that I might have the ability to play at the collegiate level. I had been in contact with Coach Campbell prior to my acceptance to Middlebury and I emailed him to ask for a tryout as soon as I got in!
What is your #MiddMoment?
While I am always trying to create new memories, my #MiddMoment from the last year and a half was beating Wesleyan in the NESCAC quarterfinals. They were the reigning national champions and we upset them on their home turf in convincing fashion. It was amazing to see our team’s hard work pay off in such a big way.
What are your future plans after graduation?
Ideally, I would like to teach and coach at the high school level, perhaps in a boarding school environment similar to my alma mater, The Taft School. I would love to work with young men and women in both an academic and athletic setting to ensure that they are fully prepared for college and the world beyond.
What is something that not a lot of people know about you?
Having a passion for history runs in my family. My late grandfather, Alfred Viebranz, was an assistant to the director and an oral historian at the National Gallery of Art. My father also served as President and CEO of Mount Vernon, the historic home of George Washington located just outside Alexandria, Virginia. We lived on the property for five years, just a stone’s throw from the home of our first president.
Note - The main photo features Angus crossing the finish line at the Mighty Hamptons Olympic Triathlon last summer. (submitted photo)