Darius Saunders, a senior and communication studies major from Martinsville, Virgnia, chose to attend Randolph-Macon for its small atmosphere. Saunders knew attending Randolph Macon would challenge him mentally and push him out of his comfort zone, a theme that has been constant throughout his life.
Saunders said that one of his passions is lifting weights as well as training other people to become better versions of themselves through embracing a healthier lifestyle.
“I got involved in lifting weights by playing sports, but after I stopped playing sports I continued to lift and started to become interested in how the body works,” Saunders said. “That’s when I started learning about nutrition and how to help people live a healthier lifestyle.”
Saunders considers one of his greatest accomplishments to be losing about 80 pounds during his sophomore year and learning to be vulnerable to others in order to enhance personal growth. Other achievements include graduating in the top ten percent of his high school class as a successful multi-sport athlete.
“Growing up in a rough neighborhood where minorities usually do not go to college made me want to strive for better opportunities and made me more appreciative of the things I have accomplished,” Saunders said.
Senior Bryan Johansen got to know Saunders while Saunders served as the Resident Assistant in the Kappa Alpha Order house during the 2014 spring semester.
“He is the kind of guy that everyone gravitates to. No matter if you’re his best friend or you have never met him, he will treat you the same way,” Johansen said.
Junior John Henry also had the priviledge of living with Saunders.
“We all know the situation was not ideal. Darius did not really want to be there, nor did we want him to be there at first, but we all ended up making the best of it and Darius became a close friend to all of us,” said Henry.
Other students feel similarly.
Junior Maddie Cragg said that Saunders has a strong work ethic and is known around school for his athleticism but also knows how to have fun. Cragg and Saunders became friends through mutual friends then had the chance to become even closer this year when Saunders served as Cragg’s Resident Assistant in Conrad dormitory.
“Darius is a very laid back, fun loving guy. He is always willing to help someone out if they need it,” Cragg said.
When Saunders isn’t spending time lifting weights in the Brock Center or socializing with other students, he is excelling in the classroom. Saunders’ lesser known interests include poetry and skydiving.
“I love speaking in front of people,” Saunders said when explaining why he chose to pursue a communications studies major.
Saunders said that two people at Randolph-Macon have had a significant impact on his education: Professors Malin and Merril.
“Both of them have helped me maximize my potential and have taught me to never give up,” Saunders said.
Saunders said that after graduating from Randolph Macon, he will enter the military as an officer.
-May McNeil ’16, Junior Features Editor