Author: Matt Waldman

Published

Photograph of Adam Lahaie
“He has a mind for business—and not one of his peers would say that he is anything but a good, fair, and tough manager,” says Andrea Swilley. “When he’s on, I might as well have a professional staff member…sometimes better. He just has that sp

If Central Casting got the call to choose a lead actor for a Hollywood production based on the life of Terry marketing senior Adam LaHaie, James Franco would be the smart choice. With his thick brown hair, deep-set eyes, and the occasional lopsided grin, LaHaie bears a resemblance to the co-star of the original Spider-Man franchise. LaHaie’s story would be shot as a coming-of-age romantic ­comedy: High school soccer star leaves home in pursuit of collegiate athletic glory, suffers career-ending injury, and returns home to lick his wounds. With his high school sweetheart serving as a role model, our hero charts a new course and becomes a wiser, more accomplished human being.

Add popcorn, Raisinets, and a Coke, and it sounds like an enjoyable 90 minutes at the multiplex. But LaHaie is an Athens-area kid, and to accommodate the Classic City’s indie vibe the script needs to be stripped of all that Tinseltown gloss.

LaHaie, a former Northeast Georgia High School Player of the Year, led the Oconee County High School soccer team to the state championship game in 2007 and then accepted a Division I scholarship to play at Coastal Carolina. But in LaHaie’s case, there was no career-ending injury. He gave up his career as a Division I soccer player because athletics didn’t turn out to be nearly as fulfilling as it had been in his head. Yet another case of perception lagging reality. Once he made that decision, LaHaie needed some time for reflection. But thanks to his relationship with his star-student girlfriend Paula Bryant, there weren’t many woe-is-me moments as he hung up his soccer cleats and transferred to UGA to major in business.

“I wasn’t seeing my full potential, but she wasn’t letting me settle for anything less because she knew it was there,” says LaHaie, who balances a full B-school course load with full-scale participation in student organizations. He also has a job at the Tate Student Center, which is the only part-time thing Adam LaHaie does in life.

LaHaie was named University Student Employee of the Year in recognition of his student supervisory role for the Tate Center’s Events Services Team. He also won the AMA Outstanding Collegiate Marketer Award while serving as president of Terry’s student chapter of the American Marketing Association. And he earned these honors at the same time he was holding down demanding marketing internships with EvoShield, Team Clermont, 40-Watt, and Response Mine Interactive. Throw in the Terry Music Business Program’s Sonic Arch blog, a Rock Against Cancer fundraiser at the Terrapin Brewery, and the Terry Digital Marketing Series—all his brainchildren—and LaHaie’s work-life balance conjures up the image of a Cirque du Soleil acrobat.

LaHaie will leave a lasting legacy when he graduates from Terry this December. Perhaps the most indelible being that like the artists he follows and the sport he once played so imaginatively, LaHaie pulls ideas from his head—and from his numerous sketchbooks—and turns them into tangible expressions of who he is.

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