When we were sophomores in college, Peter had an idea to create a student group that would rival the student groups of some of the biggest and well known colleges in the country. The University of Arizona is one of the largest universities in the country and has some of the best and most prestigious athletic programs around…so why didn’t we have a student section at basketball games?
Peter ran for the student senate that same year with the goal of creating such a student organization. He spent many hours campaigning and I spent many hours (and manicures) helping paint bed sheets with “WAND FOR SENATE” to be strung up between palm trees around campus. I have to admit, I didn’t understand why we needed a student section – more so, I didn’t know how he was going to pull it off. And like many times before then and many times after, he didn’t fail to wow me.
After winning a seat on the student senate, PW campaigned, recruited, marketed and worked his butt off to create and then get the wheels on the student organization moving. He got the support of the athletic director, funding from Pepsi and also the men’s basketball team on board. A contest was held to name the organization and with the mens basketball team’s help, the title of the Zona Zoo was selected. And thus, a legacy began.
A few years ago, we had the UofA game on. A few minutes after kickoff, I heard swear words from the living room. When I asked what was going on, Peter rewound the dvr and showed me how many students were at the football game. And right behind them, painted on the stadium wall was ZONA ZOO. He was in shock. We had no idea that the Zoo had grown so much.
This month is the tenth anniversary of the Zona Zoo and the Arizona Daily Wildcat newspaper called to interview PW about the inception of what is now one of the largest student organization in the country with 10,000+ members.
It’s an amazing legacy and one of many that I think Peter will have. Congrats PW on an amazing job well done!