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Danny Reetz '18

From the Marines to a Simpson Degree: Danny Reetz Finds His Success


Having grown up in Indianola, Danny Reetz knew about Simpson. But there was a pause between high school and earning his college degree.

He joined the U.S. Marine Corps.

Reetz chose Simpson after finishing serving in the military as a Marine squad leader. He’s one of several veterans who have found Simpson a great and welcoming place to finish their education.

Originally coming in as an exercise science major, Reetz realized his background in the Marines would be better served as a physical education major with a health endorsement.

With the help of the education and health/exercise science professors, Reetz was able to finish his degree on time. He specifically mentions his work with Nicci Whalen, associate professor of Sport Science & Health Education, and Department Chair of that department.

“She always was a great influence on me,” Reetz said. “She was there when things were getting rough and I didn't think graduating on time with both degrees was possible. She would answer any questions or even stay late so that we could meet together. The education department is the same way.”

As a non-traditional student, Reetz felt welcomed and accepted at Simpson. 

“Being around campus allowed me to me ‘one’ of those traditional students and become part of that family,” he said. “The acceptance of everyone at Simpson from the staff, teachers and students opened my eyes to being open to all friendships.”

Besides feeling welcomed, Reetz also felt that he had found a place where he fit in with his military past, and that Simpson was very accepting of military members.
“Simpson does a great job of presenting all the views, angles and stories that are in the "real" world,” he said, “Most professors allow touchy subjects to be brought up and expressed while teaching how they affect people differently and being respectful while disagreeing. 

What’s the best way to find success at Simpson?

 “When you come to Simpson you will find the path that best suits you while encountering individuals completely different but just as great as you,” Reetz said. “Be open minded and go for your goals. You are the only person that can hold you back with these opportunities.”