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Spotted on Campus With...James Murphy

Feb. 22, 2010

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Each week, the staff at catches up with a student-athlete. Today we caught up with senior tennis player James Murphy. The Economics and History double major covered topics ranging from his thesis to swimming and more.

What's your major and what do you like about your major? I am an Economics and History double major, and I will also earn a certificate in finance. I like my economics major most because the finance classes that I have taken have taught me skills that I can apply to a future business career.

What's been the most unique or interesting academic project you've been able to work on at Lafayette? My senior honors thesis on the failure of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation has been uniquely interesting. This project has enabled me to get an in-depth look into a company that was so important to not only the Lehigh Valley, but the entire country, and the reasons why it no longer exists.

What's been your most interesting class so far this semester? Industry, Strategy and Policy. This economics class involves discussions about current business and economic issues that are occurring throughout the world.

What is your earliest tennis memory? My earliest tennis memories are learning to play with my family. My mother taught my sister and me how to play tennis, and eventually we began playing family doubles matches.

What can you take from your sport and incorporate into everyday life? Tennis has taught me to be competitive, to work hard and to manage my time well. All of these skills are definitely beneficial outside of tennis and have helped me to be successful off of the court.

What do you still wish to accomplish (on or off the tennis court)? For my last season of tennis, I want our team to defeat Lehigh, Bucknell, Colgate and Holy Cross. Achieving that would be a great way to end my four years playing at Lafayette. Since I have been at Lafayette, our team has never beaten all four of those teams in one season.

My pregame ritual is... To drink lemon-lime Gatorade and water, eat a peanut butter power bar, stretch and then hit for about 30 minutes prior to my match.

Sport you would play other than your own? Golf. I find the sport very enjoyable and social, yet still competitive. Playing golf also gives me the opportunity to spend time with my friends and family.

Something about me that others would be surprised to hear is: I was once a state champion swimmer. I ended up quitting swimming, as well as soccer, baseball and basketball to pursue only tennis.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? Italy. I traveled there a few years ago and I have been wanting to go back ever since. The history, natural beauty of the country and of course the food, are all unbeatable.

Best road trip I ever took was... To various landmarks along the Jersey Shore for a weekend with my fraternity brothers.

Spring break is only a few weeks away. Any plans yet? Unfortunately our tennis team was unable to go on a team spring break trip this year to play matches. However, four of my teammates and I will be traveling down south to play tennis on our own. I am very excited for this trip because I will be able to play tennis with my teammates, while also being able to spend time with some of my other friends and girlfriend who will also be there.

Favorite TV shows as a kid? Sports Center and Saved By the Bell

Favorite midnight snack? Pizza

TV show I can't stop watching: 24, Entourage and How I Met Your Mother

Song on repeat on my ipod? "Good Morning" by Chamillionaire

Word Association:

Lafayette: Leopards

Tennis: Physically and mentally challenging, but a great lifelong sport

Your teammates: Great friends

Your coaches: Tennis fanatics

Preseason: Playing tennis with friends and family at home