June 2 will not be an ordinary summer Saturday for Barrett Honors College senior Corbett Oliver. On that day, the Sigma Pi brother will ride 100 miles around scenic Lake Tahoe.

The ride will not only be for exercise and to take in the sights. Corbett is riding in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training Century Bike Ride, also known as America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride, to raise funds for blood cancer research.

Corbett will join his dad, Brad, who has participated in the ride seven times. This will be Corbett’s first Century Bike Ride.

They will ride in honor of their mom and wife, Anna, who has fought three bouts with cancer.

Corbett started training for the long ride in mid-February. Every Sunday he woke up early to ride from 5 to 7 a.m. in different parts of the Valley. He started with rides ranging from 20 to 40 miles and worked up to rides of 50 to 70 miles with large changes in elevations to prepare for the mountainous route surrounding Lake Tahoe. He also attended spin classes a few times a week, adding 30 to 40 more training miles.

A finance major at the W.P. Carey School of Business and treasurer for his fraternity Sigma Pi, Corbett fit in training around a full class schedule and an internship in the accounting department at Meritage Homes, where he handled accounts payable and utilities. On May 6, he started interning at Meritage Homes’ corporate headquarters, where he helps with company finance and treasury work.

“It has been a struggle at times to manage all my responsibilities. Between a large workload in both school and work, my fraternity, and training there was almost never a second I wasn’t doing something this past semester. I had to rely heavily on a weekly planner, scheduling and dedicating my time by the hour each day of the week,” said Corbett, who came to Arizona State University from Kansas City.  

As he is ticking off the miles around Lake Tahoe, Corbett will be thinking of his mother and friends who have encouraged him.

“The main thing keeping me going will be my mom of course. I will also be thinking of all of the people who have helped us out through the years and of many of my friends and fellow ASU students who have shown me support over the past months. It means a lot to me seeing people who I know are college students and are on strict budgets giving whatever they can to support these research efforts. One of the most touching donations I received was $4 from a friend who said “I’m broke but this is awesome, good luck buddy.” It’s the small things like that, that will keep me going on the long ride.”

We caught up with Corbett to find out what drew him the Arizona, and how he has fared at Arizona State University so far.

How did you decide to attend ASU and Barrett Honors College?

I decided I wanted to be here the minute I stepped onto the Barrett grounds. Coming from Kansas I loved the change in scenery.

I also was excited for the opportunity to meet a bunch of new people from around the country. If I would have stayed in Kansas, I would have been in school with lots of the same faces from the past and now I have friends from all over the country and the world.

How has your honors college experience been? Has it enhanced your overall undergraduate experience?

I really enjoyed my freshman year in Barrett. The smaller Barrett community made me feel more comfortable coming to such a large university. I also have enjoyed the many opportunities publicized via the honors listserv. There is always something to do or get involved in.

In terms of classes, I ended up enjoying the majority of them. Coursework from The Human Event opened my eyes to things I probably wouldn’t have voluntary studied on my own.

What are you future goals and how are ASU and Barrett helping you get there?

My goal is to graduate in May 2020 and hopefully to continue working in corporate finance. I hope to one day be the CEO or CFO of a large company or organization. I feel Barrett will help me with the connections and experience I need to pursue my dreams.