IUMT Memory Board
Here are some of the memories that our alumni have made in their time with IUMT. Each one details a different perspective on what it means to be an IU Mocker. If you participated in IU Mock Trial and would like to share a memory, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
As the original founder of IUMT, I have enjoyed watching this program grow and mature from a group of fledgling newcomers into a legitimate national contender. It never ceases to amaze me how far this program has come from its humble beginnings in a Bloomington Steak 'n Shake in 2011 to ultimately placing in the top 10 at Nationals in Los Angeles last spring. What has always stuck with me about IUMT, beyond just the high level of competition, is the close-knit nature of the program. IUMT is a big tent, so to speak, with students from all different backgrounds and majors making up its ranks. The program has also proven to be fiercely social and welcoming to members new and old--whether they're on the top team or the bottom. And these relationships have ultimately yielded a strong and active alumni base. If you are looking for more than just an extracurricular activity, or something to pad your resume, and are looking for a place to truly belong on campus in Bloomington, you would be hard pressed to do better than IUMT.
When I started at IU as a freshman in the fall of 2013, I had no idea what mock trial was. In a way, this was a good thing. It meant I was unable to fully grasp the embarrassment when our two IU teams went 0-16 at my first tournament that fall. In fact, all I really knew from the moment the call-out flyer hit my fingertips was that I loved this weird, crazy, all-consuming activity. I loved the thrill of the competition, I loved the puzzle that the case represented to me, and I loved the people I was doing it with.
Through the hours and hours (and hours) of nightly practices and the days of traveling and competing, I never wavered in my belief that I had found my people and my calling. And that was enough for me. Of course, I would be lying if I said winning wasn’t important to me— I am incredibly proud that during my four years we went from a last-place program, unknown and unrecognized, to placing in the top 10 in the nation. But what made all of our successes so meaningful to me was all of the failures we had along the way. I know that my teammates and I only got to where we did because we love mock, we love each other, and we poured every ounce of ourselves into this program.
As I prepare to move on from this chapter of my life, I already know the lessons of perseverance and dedication that I learned from my teammates and coaches in IU Mock Trial are ones I will carry with me every day for the rest of my life.
I joined IUMT as a founding member because I knew that I wanted to go to law school, and I wanted to build legal and public speaking experience. The program ended up being so much more than that for me. I had the privilege of growing with some amazing people and having a ton of fun, along with building those skills I wanted.
Marc "Bear" Walters
As head coach from 2013 to 2016, I had a front-row seat to IUMT’s meteoric ascent from precocious AMTA upstart to respected Nationals contender. But self-serving descriptions aside, my memories have little to do with what could otherwise be learned from a review of tab summaries.
Mock trial, by its very nature, attracts competitive, bombastic, selfish people; I would know, I am one of them. But those tendencies, when taken to their limits, are toxic. My time with IUMT was special because I saw heartfelt commitments to diversity of personalities and opinions, to sacrificing the self for the good of the team, and to genuine friendship. There were also plenty of disagreements, hurt feelings, tears, and failures. But through it all, there was an unwavering sense of progress and optimism—the idea that we were all going somewhere better together—that bonded us to each other.
I was part of a supportive and caring community that used both good times and bad times to grow into a family. I saw inclusion, encouragement, hard work, and dedication on an unparalleled level. But most importantly, I saw smart and talented people build lifelong friendships, learn valuable life skills, and accomplish great things. Words cannot describe how proud I am of every person I coached. It was truly one of the greatest experiences of my life.