Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

WESFiles Alumni: Chris Richardson ’93

WESFiles Alumni: Chris Richardson ’93

By Mariah Le Beau '20

Chris Richardson, a 1993 graduate, played football for Wesleyan and was captain of the team, and remains a loyal and supportive Cardinals fan while continuing a successful career as a surgeon in Rochester.

Richardson grew up in New York City, where he graduated from Polytechnic Preparatory Country Day School. When discussing where he should apply for college, a dean who knew him well told him, "You're Wesleyan, you should apply there. You'll go there and love it." Richardson applied and chose to go to Wesleyan, and says it was "100% the right decision."

Richardson described, "Wesleyan football was a huge part of [his] existence at Wesleyan." He had played football since he was 9 years old, when he would organize teams with his father and brother which became a real bonding experience. Then, he decided to play football at Wesleyan; Richardson started on the team all four years and became captain his senior year in 1992.

He described Wesleyan as an underdog while he was playing for them; the team had a record of 4-4 the year that he was captain. Richardson liked Wesleyan because he didn't feel like he was one of the few faces of color, which was a large change from his predominately Caucasian high school. He described that during his sophomore and junior year, there were 10-12 African American players on the team. When he looked around at other NESCAC teams, he found that there were 12 African American players on all the other teams combined.

Now, Richardson is still a huge Wesleyan football fan. He and his fraternity brothers try to make it to every homecoming game, where they arrive as early as possible and get the grill going, and tailgate until they're the last people left on the field. Since he played football for the entire time he went to Wesleyan, he never could actually watch a game so now, watching the homecoming games is one of his favorite events of the year.

Other things that became important to his Wesleyan experience include his fraternity (Omega Psi Phi) and Malcolm X House. Richardson says, "I just absolutely loved the opportunity to be a part of the Wesleyan family." Richardson described Wesleyan as a great foundation, and described that he will always be thankful for the opportunity to learn to communicate, to feel comfortable in his own skin, and to "be allowed to be whoever you want to be."

Other than playing football, Richardson had wanted to be a doctor since he was a young boy. When he was in medical school, he chose general surgery as a specialty and had the opportunity for a fellowship in hand surgery. He thanks Wesleyan for helping him learn how to think and how to think outside of the box. He described, "To be a good surgeon, if not a great surgeon, you have to be able to think critically, rationally, and outside the box as well." Richardson has also recently become involved on the board of the Black Physicians Network of Greater Rochester, a group that was founded approximately two years ago by three Rochester physicians. The goal of the group is to foster a community of professionals dedicated to addressing disparities in healthcare. Also, Richardson works with others in trying to recruit Junior High and High School students and introducing them to the world of medicine.

In his limited free time, Richardson spends time with his wife, a neonatologist, whom he married last year. He also enjoys watching programs on the History Channel, riding his bicycle, or rooting for the New York Jets. And, of course, you will always find him in Middletown on Homecoming weekend rooting for the Cardinals.

WESFiles Alumni: Tim Day '59
November 17, 2016 WESFiles Alumni: Tim Day '59