Student

Dennis McKay “SMC is the best thing that has happened to me since I got injured.”

“I’ve been writing poems for 17 years,” says Dennis McKay, who is indeed becoming a prolific writer on the way to becoming an “ad man.” “I’ve moved on now to short stories, several plays and commercials.” Writing in as many literary forms as he can is important to Dennis. “I’m a business administration/marketing/advertising major. And I’m gong to be picking up degrees in English, French, and Spanish. But my goal right now,” he continues, “is to transfer to USC. You see, I come from a family of five brothers and two sisters. And I’m real motivated because I don’t want to be the only one without a degree.”

Dennis was injured in a surfing mishap in 1980 and has been “motivating” in a wheel chair ever since. “It happened at Toads’ Beach,” he recalls. “Wasn’t even much of a wave, but, boy! water sure has power.” Dennis says he’s “really been hammering at SMC” since spring of 1990. “I’ve made the Dean’s Honors List every time but once since then. And SMC has been a great place to study for me. I couldn’t get to a computer math class I needed once and some phone calls were made and—suddenly—the class location was changed.”

Dennis has been pumping iron since he was a child and continues at SMC. “They actually paved the way into the downstairs gym for me. And the swimming coaches got some people to carry me in and out of the pool so I can take some swimming classes,” continues Dennis. “And I have to say that all of this has been a very positive thing for a guy in a chair to experience.”

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.