The Final 40

Tim Tague documents his final days as a Washington University student

Diane Toroian Keaggy 
Tague chose WashU for the opportunity to play D3 baseball and football.
Tague chose WashU for the opportunity to play D3 baseball and football.

This story has been edited to focus on McKelvey Engineering student Tim Tague. Read the full story here.

Four years ago, new students Jazmin Garcia of Evanston, Illinois; Astrella Sjarfi of Jakarta, Indonesia; and Tim Tague of Orinda, California, shot a single second of video every day for their first 40 days at Washington University in St. Louis. They captured convocation in the Athletic Complex and pizza at Bear’s Den, trips to the Gateway Arch and construction on the east end, late nights at Olin and WILD in the Quad. 

So much has changed since their arrival in 2017. Each switched majors and learned to live on their own. And then COVID hit. Sjarfi completed her junior year at home, taking classes synchronously 12 times zones away. Garcia witnessed the pandemic’s devastating impact on the uninsured immigrants she served as a Gephardt Institute Civic Scholar. And Tague, a member of both the Bears football and baseball teams, lost two seasons of play. 

But they pushed through and graduated in May, surrounded by family and friends on Francis Field. No longer a student, but still a Bear, Tague even helped his team reach the NCAA Division III Baseball World Series in June. The No. 1 ranked Bears were eliminated before reaching the championship game.

To mark the end of their college careers, Washington Magazine asked Garcia, Sjarfi and Tague to shoot a second of video for their final 40 days and invited them to meet for the very first time. 

Tague, who majored in systems engineering at the McKelvey School of Engineering, has accepted a job in
Boston as a data analyst for consulting company Thorogood.

Each of you took an unexpected academic journey. Tell us more. 

Tague: I wanted to major in mechanical engineering because it was the only type of engineering I knew. But then I learned about systems engineering. I really like how broad it is. I’ve been able to take a variety of classes from computer science to business with a variety of students. It’s given me a chance to experience more parts of WashU.

What was your favorite co-curricular activity?

Tague: Being part of the Bears Club running team had a big impact on me. We work with children who have mental, physical or developmental disorders. I was able to make great friends with other WashU student-athletes as well as with Jack, the kid I worked with, and his family.

How has your ‘Final 40’ been different from your ‘First 40’? 

Tague: These 40 days are a lot different from the first. There’s a lot more of me at the computer or cooking or at practice because it’s hard to do much of anything else during COVID. Still it’s fun to capture these moments. I don’t want to take any of these memories for granted.

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