Mark Dodd  |  February 18, 2019

This Q&A is part of a series of interviews featuring RUF Alumni. 

Let's start off with who are you and what you do?

My wife, Jennifer (Hall) and I live in Clemson, SC. I work as a Quality Engineer for a company that manufactures power tools (yes…I get paid to play with power tools…and, yes…it is a really cool job). We have 3 kids. Our daughter Kate graduated 2 years ago from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC (where she was involved with RUF) and is now back teaching at the elementary school she went to as a kid. Our twin boys, Will and Sam, are getting ready to graduate high school in a few months. They will be starting their own college experiences in the fall.  Then Jen and I will be empty nesters. Please pray for us as we seek how God would have us use this next phase of life.

What college did you graduate from?

Jennifer and I both graduated from Clemson University (GO TIGERS!!!) in 1992 after being involved with RUF our entire time there. We have been fortunate to stay in the Clemson area after graduation which keeps us near my family and the university we love.

Who was your campus minister when you attended RUF?

We were blessed to have David Sinclair as our campus minister all four years we were at Clemson.  And now, 26 years after graduating, we continue to be blessed by his teaching as he serves as the senior pastor at Clemson Pres.

What is your favorite memory from RUF?

Wow, there are so many…large groups, small groups, retreats, dances, concerts, summer conference, etc…. but I would say the biggest memory is growing in my walk with Christ as I learned what it meant to own my faith as my own. I remember the friendships that were developed, and it was at Clemson that God gave me my spouse.

How has RUF impacted how you approach your career?

One of the biggest lessons RUF taught me was a biblical world and life view that says all of life is impacted by the gospel. I learned that I should use the skills and talents God has given me to his glory in whatever field he leads me. I work as an engineer, so I use the gifts of critical thinking, logical thought and general “knack of all things mechanical” to improve products to make them better for the people who use them. But beyond the simple things of “doing my job”, God has put me in a place to be a light of the gospel to those I interact with on a daily basis. Also, like the apostle Paul, I know that the career God has given me allows me to minister in my local community. Another big lessons RUF emphasized was involvement in the local church. We were taught that we were being equipped to serve and we were to do that in whatever body of believers God brought us to after graduation. We are currently members of Clemson Presbyterian where I am honored to serve as a ruling elder and work with both our youth and college ministries. 

What would you say to an incoming freshman?

This is something we’ve been thinking about in our house a lot lately as we prepare to send our boys off to college…and we think it is very similar to what we told our daughter when she went…the next few years are going to be a time of great change as you leave “home” and discover what God has in store for you. You will hopefully be making lifelong friends and will be experiencing life on your own. God will use the next years to shape you in ways you can’t imagine. Prayerfully find ways to be involved in a ministry on campus and a church where you can serve while you are there. You only get this opportunity to be a college student once…make the most of it.