Adrienne Rahs ’12 was a successful student and an outstanding athlete at Gettysburg College, but the numbers that defined her successful career as a Bullet only tell a portion of the whole story.
A four-year starter at catcher on the softball team, the Bethlehem, Pa., native was a four-time All-Centennial Conference selection, a, two-time team captain, and she was recently recognized as the 18th Academic All-American in school history. She closed her career in orange and blue holding 13 game, season, and career records while ranking top 10 in 27 additional categories.
On top of the softball statistics, Rahs was a premiere student in the mathematics department. She graduated summa cum laude with a perfect 4.0 grade-point average despite taking classes like Differential Equations and Abstract Mathematics. Rahs owned the top GPA in the entire athletics department, and she ranked seventh overall out of 617 graduates in the Class of 2012.
If you could create an equation for defining the perfect student-athlete, her resume would certainly provide a strong starting point. But that formula would lack certain intangible variables – things you can’t find in a box score or in a transcript – that set Rahs apart from her fellow Gettysburgians. Foremost among those variables is an uncanny ability to lead.
Adrienne Rahs pays a visit to freshman Lindsey Treanor on the mound in the spring of 2012.
As a catcher, Rahs’ leadership on the softball field focused particularly on keeping the pitching staff confident and focused. She served as the battery mate for seven different pitchers over the last four seasons, including Gettysburg’s all-time strikeout leader Kristy Rubino ’09. Rahs started the very first game of her collegiate career, catching Rubino’s 5-0 shutout victory over Cabrini College in 2009.
“I’ll never forget the first game when coach told me to go warm up Kristy (Rubino), hinting that I’d be starting,” said Rahs. “Kristy turned to me and said you know you earned it. Just don’t be nervous and go out there.”
“It’s interesting to see how my role has changed,” she noted. “It’s a lot different going out to the circle as a freshman to calm down a senior pitcher than it is for a senior catch to calm down a freshman pitcher.
This past season, Rahs served as a tutor for freshman Lindsey Treanor ’15. Treanor emerged as one of the top pitchers in the conference, landing all-conference second-team accolades after posting 10 wins and a 2.42 ERA.
“She knew when I was nervous and she came out and comforted me,” recalled Treanor. “I didn’t have to worry about the situation because I knew she was confident in me and that made me more confident in myself. I loved the support she provided.”
As a hitter, Rahs set Gettysburg’s single-season RBI record in her final campaign and she smashed the Centennial Conference career record for doubles. But what those numbers and the many statistics like them don’t show is just how impactful Rahs’ mere presence was in the lineup. Over the past four seasons, Gettysburg has been a team that has made it a ritual to put up runs late in games. Rahs often ignited those rallies, hitting .379 from the fifth inning on – 31 points higher than her career batting average.
In 2012 alone, she played a central role in three comeback wins. She logged two hits, two runs, and three RBI as the Bullets erased deficits in their final at bats against Susquehanna University, Swarthmore College, and Muhlenberg College.
Said teammate Maggie Maguire ’14, who hit behind Rahs in the lineup, “Once she came up and hit it wherever she did, it gave me the spark to do it because we worked well of each other. If she did well, then I wanted to do well.”
“She’s a great player and a fantastic leader,” added Maguire. “I don’t think I’ve met anybody that has the personality and leadership skills she has.”
Away from the field, Rahs excelled in a number of leadership roles. She served as a tutor in the math department and she was a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Council. Rahs also served as the Events Coordinator for Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society.
Perhaps her biggest contribution to campus, however, came as a founding leadership mentor in the Garthwait Leadership Center, which began operation in the fall of 2010.
Through the GLC, Rahs was able to promote leadership on campus and encourage others to become active leaders and participants in their communities. She helped put together an Emerging Leaders Retreat for first-year students and sophomores and she organized an Alumni Mentor Retreat, which brought back alumni to engage with seniors.
Adrienne Rahs worked with the GLC to promote leadership at Gettysburg College.
“For me as a leadership mentor, I wanted everyone to have that (leadership) experience because throughout it I was able to reflect on my leadership skills,” said Rahs. “As a leader, you may think you’re one way, but a good leader can’t understand their philosophies or how they best perform without first understanding how others see them.”
Prior to arriving at Gettysburg, Rahs wasn’t sure what she would do outside of academics and athletics, but the GLC provided an outlet where she could hone the skills necessary to pursue a career outside the confines of campus.
“Overall Adrienne has been remarkable in defining the Leadership Mentor role and how those in the position should act,” said Andy Hughes, Director of the GLC. “Her actions have contributed to define the culture of our organization and the standard she has set will help the GLC be successful for many years to come.”
“I believe,” Hughes added, “she personifies what we (staff and faculty) hope students can become by graduation, ready to take on the world in true Gettysburg Great fashion.”
Rahs’ Gettysburg career was perfectly personified by one final award she received prior to graduation. At Spring Honors Day, she was given the Noerr Award, which recognizes a female senior on the basis of proficiency in athletics, scholarship, and character.
With graduation, Rahs will leave formidable gaps in the organizations she has been a part of, most notably softball, mathematics, and the GLC.
“It’s going to be tough,” said head coach Sam Abrams. “It’s hard to find ballplayers at the Division III level like her, whether it’s in academics or in softball or as a person. You can’t replace somebody like A. You have to move forward and build around the tradition she brought to the table.”
While her collegiate career was largely built on numbers, Rahs wants her legacy to be more than just a collection of records and awards.
“What I want people to remember most is who I was as far as building relationships,” said Rahs. “I tend to get really close with people I work with in the classroom, at work, and on the field. I just want them to remember the good times we had off the field and on the field.”
Rahs will move on from Gettysburg to The Hershey Company where she will help optimize its spending and production as a Sales Financial Planning Analyst within the Finance Group.