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Chris Farnsworth ‘19

For Chris Farnsworth ’19, the discipline he gained while playing sports at Milton Hershey School created resilience amidst educational adversity he faced during the global pandemic in 2020. He was in his first year at Gannon University when the world came to a halt—and in many ways so did his opportunity to play football at the collegiate level.

“The most important lesson I’ve learned is not just controlling the controllable, but it’s all about how you react to the events that happen to you,” Chris said. “A lot of times things don’t go your way, or it doesn’t happen the way you want it to happen, but it’s all about how you react and handle the situation.”

Chris grew up in Morrisville, Pennsylvania with his mother and brother. Chris enrolled at MHS in 2015 while in eighth grade and remembers the start of his time at MHS fondly. Many of his first memories on campus involve playing basketball with his housemates and enjoying the outdoor space on campus.

As Chris became accustomed to life at MHS, he began to get involved in sports. He took every athletic opportunity available to him by participating in baseball, track and field, and football—his true passion.

“Playing on the junior varsity team developed in me a further understanding of the sport and the discipline and patience it took to get good at it,” he shares. “I kind of took that and used it when it came to school because I never was a really good student. I used that worth ethic that I like built on the field and took it to the classroom and then my everyday life.”

Chris was influenced by MHS football coaches Baker, Jackson, and Mangan along with teammates from the classes of 2017 and 2018 and he credits them for his growth throughout his time at the school. While on the team he played a variety of positions including receiver and corner.

After graduating from MHS in 2019, Chris attended Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania. It was a school that felt like the right fit—a small private school that reminded him of MHS. In addition to pursuing a post-secondary degree, the opportunity for him to continue playing football was an exciting chance for Chris to grow his skills on and off the field.

Milton Hershey School graduate Chris Farnsworth '19 plays football at Gannon University.

MHS football coach Jeff Boger attended a Gannon University football game to watch Chris play.

Recently, Chris completed his four year bachelor’s degree program in finance. As he reflects on undergraduate experience, he is proud that he participated in football while completing classes and of his work with non-profit groups like Our West Bayfront focused on keeping the west end of Erie clean.

Chris is now planning for what is next. He will be pursuing a Master of Business Administration in his fifth year at Gannon University. Due to the global pandemic, he will continue to play football at the college level during his final year of eligibility. Ultimately, he hopes to utilize his education and skills to serve his community in Philadelphia, Pa.

Chris encourages all current and future MHS students to take the opportunities in front of them and carve a path forward, just like he did. He credits MHS with making him the athlete and student he is today.

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