As a CWU alumnus and former Wildcat football player, Chris Rohrbach knows what it means to have Wildcat pride.
Beginning his collegiate journey as a student-athlete at the University of Washington, Rohrbach found himself looking to further both his athletic and academic careers after a few seasons. He enjoyed the entire process of recruitment that Central presented him and decided to make the transition into a Wildcat during winter of 2005.
In the beginning, getting acclimated to the small town of Ellensburg was harder than he expected. But Rohrbach quickly became the one on the football team telling new players, “just give it time, it will grow on you.”
“I think the biggest thing that Central allowed me to do, with it being smaller than what I was used to at the University of Washington, was to cultivate stronger bonds and relationships with people like my professors, coaches, and teammates,” said Rohrbach.
Ellensburg grew on Rohrbach and it became home to him throughout his college career. He even met his wife, Marisa, while going to school at CWU and the couple now have two young children, Kennedy and Kingston, who they bring back to Ellensburg now for hikes, and of course, football games. While his daughter enjoyed being so close to the action and interacting with Wellington, Rohrbach treasured being back as a former player, supporting the team he once played on.
“CWU helped mold me into who I am today, and I think there are so many valuable life lessons that you gain from being a student-athlete, both athletically and academically that also apply to success in business,” said Rohrbach. “I was able to learn valuable life lessons at Central like accountability, hard work, and deadlines—which are all very important to be successful—regardless of what industry you’re in.”
Now, Rohrbach uses those skills in his professional life as the vice president of Hughes Marino, a commercial real estate company, recently named #1 Best Workplace by Fortune Magazine, that exclusively represents corporate tenants and buyers in lease and purchase transactions in the Seattle area and across the nation.He has always been passionate about working in real estate, and after several years of working at Nordstrom he turned that passion into his career.
With much of his personal and professional success stemming from his experiences at Central, Rohrbach has some advice for current and future Wildcats.
“If I had to do it all over again, I would have spent more time foraging as many connections and strong relationships as possible with not only professors and other people within the administration department, but also fellow students. I think you have this great network of alumni, and you should be active in building those connections while you are at the university.”
Rohrbach is looking forward to reconnecting with the alumni family at home football games this year, and even hopes to bring his kids to a couple games. He still interacts with many Wildcats–through work and his personal life–which always reminds him of his time at CWU and how it turned him into the person he is today.