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#WhyIUDM: Jack Dooling

By Emma Herwehe

Jack Dooling graduated in 2015 with a degree in marketing and has been working in sales at GE Healthcare ever since.

But while he was at IU, he spent his time participating in IUDM. After being on a dancer team, he was a committee member on Marathon Relations, then the director of Logistics, then the President of IUDM in 2013.

Given that this week of SFC is Why IUDM week, I wanted to ask Jack his “Why.”

Here’s what he said:

“I’m one of three boys, and my oldest brother also went to IU and when he was there did IU Dance Marathon. I got to see it through him. He was the president of IUDM in 2007. He actually met his wife through IUDM, she was the director of Riley D that same year, 2007. They’ve now been married for over 10 years. They have three kids.

So, when I went to IU, I’m seven years younger, started in 2011, I was in Greek life. Of course a lot of the fraternities (would have dancer teams). But I always knew beyond that it was something I wanted to do.

36 hours my freshman year, which was a really cool experience. I absolutely loved it. I was, of course, totally exhausted. It’s funny because at the end, my brother and sister-in-law were there cheering me on and they were all excited like ‘Oh, hopefully you liked it and will continue to do it.’ And I was such a zombie. I was like ‘Yeah, it was cool.’ Gave them a hug and left and went to bed. They were so convinced that I hated it, was never going to do IUDM. But when I had some sleep and came to my senses I was like ‘Wow, that was fantastic, incredible. I definitely want to do it again.’

So I did that and then shortly after joined Marathon Relations that next year after the marathon. I was a committee member for that second year I did IUDM, then applied and was fortunate to become the director of Logistics my sophomore to junior year, so the 2013 IUDM. Funny enough that was the first year it shifted to Logistics. Previously, it had been director of Operations. So it shifted over to director of Logistics, and I loved the opportunity of being on Council. Then I was fortunate to get to serve as president the following year, which would have been IUDM 2014.

Funny enough I met my now wife through IUDM just like my brother did. We’ve been married for the last three years and we have a 16-month-old baby now who hopefully, one day, will get to do IUDM too. IUDM’s been incredible in my family’s life for sure. It’s a huge part of us.

My ‘Why,’ it’s funny because it’s changed so much over the last 20 years because I’m still very much involved in IUDM and I was even on the alumni board a couple years ago. But the ‘Why’ for me, it was always about, of course the kids. The opportunity to do something selfless, to help others while you’re in this developmental part of your life in college. Stepping outside of yourself to do something selfless for the kids and their families.

But also, the ‘Why’ is for the family and the culture that’s been created and how beyond helping the kids, I know so many personal stories, including my own, where it’s helped me be a better person or help people connect to others and have a better college experience. Or even now, 10 years down the line, I actually have two good friends through IUDM coming into town to visit me. The friendships that were built through it really became the ‘Why.’

The skill set you learn through IUDM, working with other people, and through things like fundraising, are invaluable experiences to have moving into real life. And I think that’s why we all go to college, right? To learn and grow, become better people. At face value, that can be scary. But more than a lot of the classes I took, the experiences I had with IUDM continue to carry me through life today. So, selfishly, a ton of opportunity for personal growth and development.

The other piece is everything I put into IUDM, the fundraising, standing for 36 hours, meetings, all of it, no matter how much I put in, I always got more back. I feel like it’s been an investment account in my life where it continues to pay dividends through friendships. Pretty specific but through meeting my wife. Also just the impact we’ve had on Riley, and knowing I was a small, small part of that is incredible.”

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