In The Light: Tom Cuppernull

For senior Tom Cuppernull, it’s time to face the music.

“I can’t believe I’m a senior,” he remarked with a sigh. “It’s really crazy.”

 While known around campus as a DJ extraordinaire, Cuppernull also shines on the dance floor. The Baldwinsville, NY resident attributed his celebrated 2008 “Mr. Colgate” win to some “sick dance moves.”

“They were definitely a crowd pleaser,” Cuppernull laughed.

A former men’s Track and Field captain and a current Link Staff member, the biology major and geography minor who “loves being a college kid” emphasized that his number-one passion is music.

“I began to DJ as a sophomore at Colgate and fell in love with it,” Cuppernull explained. “I know that I want to pursue it as a side job in the future.”

Cuppernull was able to take his DJ talents down under while studying abroad in Australia in the Fall 2009, where he spun at a variety of nightclubs.

“It was a very cool experience. Plus, the study abroad trip was my favorite Colgate memory, by far. [Associate Professor of Biology] Frank Frey, who led the study group, was great,” Cuppernull said.

As the head of Protoculture, Cuppernull has overseen the revival of this once-flourishing DJ group, which had its heyday from 1999 to 2005. Thanks to the efforts of Cuppernull and two other students, the group now has over 20 members and has provided music for the Phoenix Lounge and Greek parties.

“Many students didn’t know a DJ club exists,” Cuppernull said. “[It just shows] that Colgate has so much to offer. People say there’s not enough to do on weekends, but all it takes is some student initiative.”

Cuppernull encourages students in all class years to become involved with large-scale activities, such as bringing more musicians to campus and hosting events like Late Skate.

“We need more events that students want to go to,” Cuppernull explained. He also noted that the student perception of the administration has fallen low and needs to be fixed.

“[In my opinion,] the social scene at Colgate has spiraled down from my freshmen year to now,” Cuppernull said. “Students should go to President Herbst, and to Dean Johnson, and have honest talks with them about what sort of activities they want to see happen.”

Cuppernull is hopeful that students will be empowered.

“It’s all about finding something you love – like me finding DJing – and going with it. Students should pursue whatever makes them passionate.”