A new scholarship was announced last week in honor of OSU-Cascades student Joel Tranby, who was tragically killed earlier this summer in a fall while climbing North Sister.
After hearing of Tranby’s death, one of his OSU-Cascades classmates jumped into action to finish something Tranby had started.
“I recognized him immediately,” classmate Jereme Thomas said. “I was just like, ‘Oh, my gosh, I know him. I see him around school at a class with him.’
“It just hammers you where you’re just like, this is someone that had, you know, dreams and ambitions and, you know, these goals in life,” Thomas said.
They were both taking a Capstone team competition course in which groups competed in simulating the operation of a business. Early on, Thomas and his group were ahead.
“I was kind of a leader of that group. I formulated kind of like a game plan for us and the strategy,” he said. “I felt like I kind of set them up for success.”
But Tranby’s death left a gap in his group, one that Thomas offered to fill.
“To me it felt like, you know, almost like a white knight kind of moment. Somebody comes in to step up,” OSU Business Professor Sanjai Tripathi said. “Very quickly, Jereme helped them to get organized to create a new plan.”
When Thomas joined, the group was far behind with less than two months remaining in the course.
“Knowing Joel, I could just tell that he was probably the leader of the group,” Thomas said. “So I just immediately, you know, kind of took charge.”
After creating a vision, the group flew up the leaderboard.
“In the first half of the competition, they were right in the middle of the pack, but by the end of it, they finished in first place,” Tripathi said.
A win that Thomas says is also for Tranby.
“We won the whole thing. It was just like it was kind of like storybook,” he said.
Thomas graduates this week. He says hearing news of a scholarship in Joel’s honor is incredible.