Start to Finish: Tyler Chisholm ’21

Tyler Chisholm ’21 who wears 17 during a Wildcats football game

When Tyler Chisholm ’21 sets his mind to something, it tends to stick. Football? He started at age five and played until he graduated from college. Wells Fargo Securities? He decided as a first-year college student that it would be his employer, and now they sign his paychecks. He starts something, he finishes it.

“Davidson wasn’t on my radar, being from South Florida, until I was recruited for football junior year of high school,” he said. “The strong academic reputation and the ability to play the sport I loved at a high level quickly told me it’s where I belonged. One selling point was the idea that Davidson is not a four-year decision; it’s a 40-year decision, and that’s completely true.”

Senior year, Chisholm and his teammates clinched the Pioneer Football League championship, and he says it was the happiest he has ever been in his football career. It didn’t hurt playing for Head Coach Scott Abell, one of the “absolute, hands-down best people and coaches” in Chisholm’s eyes.

With all its positives, Davidson wasn’t a walk in the park. From juggling the demands of a Division I scholar-athlete experience to his involvement in Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. to involvement in the STRIDE program for minority students, he had a full plate. But the lessons Chisholm learned prepared him well for life after college—the people he met along the way, even more. 

“I met Ryan Leak (’17) my first year on campus, and he had just finished playing four years of football and was working in investment banking for Wells Fargo Securities,” said Chisholm, who benefited from The Davidson Trust. “Finance had always interested me—my mom is an accountant, and I’m good with numbers. Ryan told me about the company’s Freshman Diversity Finance Forum, so I applied and things fell into place from there.” 

Fell into place is putting it lightly. His success during that first experience led to a highly competitive sophomore summer internship and then a junior summer internship and, finally, a full-time job offer. Davidson got the ball rolling, but it was Chisholm’s commitment that saw it through.

“My grandmother asked me at Thanksgiving if I could have imagined going to a different school or even a big university, regardless of football, and my answer was no,” he said. “I’m so happy to be a part of the growth and development of the football program and to have found a brotherhood and friends for life. Davidson was exactly where I needed to be and exactly the experience I needed to have.”