By Shana Tilley, Contributing Writer
Graduating senior Zack Peercy will be missed by the UMF creative writing and arts communities he has been an influential part of throughout his four years on campus. He’s currently the president of both the Lawn Chair Pirates (LCP) and the UMF Writer’s Guild. Recently, he presented an original piece for the UMF One Acts for his Advanced Directing Class, the only student participating to have a self-written play performed.
Sitting in the Student Center at his own desk, Peercy types at his typewriter to show the UMF community that writing should be considered a profession. He intently types away as students pass by, slumped over the typewriter with a bright red clown nose on and engaged in the words he’s typing. A professor stops by to take his picture, which he dutifully poses for.
Throughout the four years he’s spent at UMF, he feels as if the campus has been able to help shape him into the person he is today. “I feel like UMF has provided me with the opportunities to do a lot of cool artsy things, and I have taken advantage of those.”
Peercy has been a pirate for all four years of his college career and has enjoyed the experiences he has had. “I’ve been a pirate for as long as anyone can be a pirate,” said Peercy. I’ve seen the group change a lot, for better or for worse, and I know they’re going to do a lot of great things together, without the burden of me.”
Through LCP, Peercy has been able to partake in many great experiences. “I’ve been able to go to Second City with them to study improv and comedy stuff. That was fun. Second City is this sketch comedy theater that all of the greats from SNL have gone to.”
UMF’s Writer’s Guild has helped Peercy motivate himself to both write and submit his writing to different literary journals. “I’ve been a four year member of Writer’s Guild, I’ve been able to have 12 pieces published nationally online and in print,” he said. “I’ve been president for two years, and I was secretary sophomore year.” The club has been a big part of his experience at UMF.
Sophomore and fellow Lawn Chair Pirate Steffon Gales says he’s been influenced by his close friendship with Peercy. “He is one of my biggest supports and pushed me to participate in the UMF community,” he said. “Zack is a controversial guy and he prides himself on it. I may not agree with most of his opinions and ideas, but I encourage his willingness to debate social norms and bias.”
Gales says that Peercy challenges the arts and creative writing circles on campus. “He presents ideas that are focused on bringing about change for students. He also uplifts the creative writing and arts communities,” said Gales, explaining that he believes the senior will be missed. “He has made a great impact on our lives and I’m excited to see what he will do in the future.”
Sophomore Kristine Sarasin commented on her experience working under Peercy’s direction in his one act play. “He was a very invested director,” she said. “He was highly supportive of Hailey and I, and encouraged us to try new things and really think about the characters we were playing.”
Sarasin says that Peercy has helped her as a writer by being a supportive and persistent voice. “He’s always encouraging me and reminding me to keep writing, submitting and always keep improving,” she said. “He’s also pointed me in the direction of some really great writers that I’ve been able to learn from. He’s been a very consistently helpful and supportive person.”
Junior Allie Umstadt, current treasurer of UMF Writer’s Guild, says she couldn’t think of anyone else to be president of Writer’s Guild when Peercy was voted in. “He’s always been a driven person. He’s kept Writer’s Guild on track these past two years as president with the help of the E-Board members,” she said. “Despite being a sarcastic twit, and maybe because of it too, he’s brought a life to Writer’s Guild that keeps people coming back.”
Peercy plans to go to Chicago to pursue comedy and playwriting after graduation.