- Camille Kaldahl, Alumni columnist
I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I haven’t been to the dentist in at least five years. Yes, I know I need to go, but that would require me to schedule an appointment and that can be exceptionally difficult when the only dentist worth going to is all the way in Whitefish, MT. That’s right. Midland’s own basketball and baseball superstar, class president and leading actor in “The Importance of Being Ernest” is flossing like a boss.
During Mitch’s time at Midland Adventist Academy he enjoyed playing the bongos on the chapel praise team, competing in basketball tournaments and participating in class trivia during Mr. Vollmer’s classes. Remembering his basketball days, he recalls Mrs. Murrill’s unique presence and desire to always go the extra mile for her players as coach of the men’s team.
When I asked him to give me the biggest takeaway of his high school experience he explained that, “Through every challenge I’ve faced, Midland made sure I was equipped with the right tools. The teachers, staff, and other student leaders instilled in me moral integrity and a good character that guides me every day.” Overall, as he looked back at his high school experience he emphasized that each student should, “enjoy the unique friendships you get to make and to especially take advantage of every opportunity to get involved.”
After Midland, he attended Union College where he played on the Warrior’s basketball team and participated in the Business Club and Math and Science Club. However, it wasn’t until after his time in Micronesia as a student missionary that Mitch truly found his calling. It was there that he got to shadow different aspects of dentistry and finally solidify where his career would go. While Union helped prepare him academically, it also provided the perfect environment to meet his wife, Rachel Downey (Campion Academy). By August 2014, they got married alongside close family and friends in Wichita, KS.
Graduating with a bachelor’s in business administration and an emphasis in science in the fall of 2014, he went on to Loma Linda University School of Dentistry to complete the last step of his academic journey. Once Mitch completed the program, he received an offer to practice alongside a mentor at Dental Distinctions in Montana. Excited for the new journey ahead, Mitch and Rachel packed up their belongings and began their road trip along with their two dogs, Bailey and Luna, to their new home.
As I press the “end” button on our phone interview, I am reminded of 1 Corinthians 2:9, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him.” God has given each of us a unique path to find our calling in life and on that walk, we are met with challenges, opportunities, adventure, and eventually a place to call “home”.
Time and time again, Midland graduates blow me away with their work ethic and ability to achieve their wildest dreams. Whether you are a student or alumni, remember that it’s never too late to pursue your passion and most of all, make the world a better place. In Mitch’s case, one smile at a time!