This illustration for Harvard Magazine accompanies an essay by Chad Oldfather. In 1987, he moved from his small town in Minnesota to attend this hallowed ivy-league institution. Overwhelmed by this daunting new setting, he had to learn how to overcome his feelings of intimidation. As a fan of the Minnesota Twins, Chad found inspiration in an unlikely source: an article about a new pitcher on the team, Willie Banks. He identified with the struggles of this player, and learned (metaphorically speaking) that he just needed to trust throwing his fastball again. In other words, he needed to take chances, let it rip, and let the chips fall where they may. This approach helped propel Chad through a solid college experience, law school, and a successful career in legal academia.
My own daughter, who just graduated from college, is about to embark on her first big job opportunity in Cambridge, MA, and will live a few blocks from Harvard. I will share this essay with her, as a reminder to throw her fastball when need be!
Below are sketches I submitted:
A special thanks to art director, Jennifer Carling, for this inspiring assignment.