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In The Wild

In The Wild

Topo Designs University

Back to school season has us feeling nostalgic, so we decided to indulge in a trip down memory lane to remember some things about our college days... Like what we were listening to, what we were wearing, and what a wiser version of ourselves might have worn. Scroll down to time travel.


Rick Vanderleek

  • Where'd you go to school?: University of Michigan
  • What year was it?: 1992
  • What was the mascot?: Wolverine
  • What song were you playing on repeat? Girlfriend by Matthew Sweet
  • On what kind of technology?: Sony Discman
  • What was your major?: Graphic Design
  • And what are you doing now?: Art Direction + Design
  • Go-to dorm meal?: Taco Bell (just up the street from East Quad)
  • Go-to outdoor activity?: Hacky sack, frisbee, or mountain biking
  • Favorite article of clothing?: Birks
  • School pack?: Can't remember exactly, but I lugged around a large flat file + portfolio case often with art projects tucked in.
  • What Topo pack would you carry to school if you were a freshman today?: Klettersack, no doubt.

Sean Han

  • Where'd you go to school?: CU Boulder
  • What year was it?: 1994
  • What was the mascot?: Buffaloes
  • What song were you playing on repeat? Regulate by Warren G or Yellow Ledbetter by Pearl Jam
  • On what kind of technology?: Sony Discman
  • What was your major?: Biology and Music
  • And what are you doing now?: Trying to sell backpacks and clothes
  • Go-to dorm meal?: Frosted Flakes
  • Go-to outdoor activity?: Skiing at Mary Jane!!!
  • Favorite article of clothing?: TNF Denali Fleece
  • School pack?: Eddie Bauer Day Pack
  • What Topo pack would you carry to school if you were a freshman today?: Daypack – Navy/Leather

Ben Harris

  • Where'd you go to school?: University of Nevada Reno
  • What year was it?: 2002
  • What was the mascot?: The Wolfpack (Alphie, Luna, Wolfie Jr.)
  • What song were you playing on repeat? By The Way by Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • On what kind of technology?: Blackberry
  • What was your major?: Mechanical Engineering (later switched to Business School and Marketing)
  • And what are you doing now?: eCommerce
  • Go-to dorm meal?: Sushi
  • Go-to outdoor activity?: Intramural sports, any and all
  • Favorite article of clothing?: Sandals
  • School pack?: The North Face
  • What Topo pack would you carry to school if you were a freshman today?: Klettersack or Rover Pack

Sarah Wakeen

  • Where'd you go to school?: University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • What year was it?: 2004
  • What was the mascot?: Bucky Badger (hell yeah go big red)
  • What song were you playing on repeat? Just Like Honey by The Jesus & Mary Chain
  • On what kind of technology?: iPod mini
  • What was your major?: Art History
  • And what are you doing now?: Social Media Marketing
  • Go-to dorm meal?: Cheese curds
  • Go-to outdoor activity?: Anything on Lake Mendota (hiking, swimming, sailing, etc.)
  • Favorite article of clothing?: Abercrombie & Fitch jeans that were way too big on me.
  • School pack?: Fossil messenger bag
  • What Topo pack would you carry to school if you were a freshman today?: Global Briefcase - I could still get that messenger bag vibe and have easy access to my iPod Mini with those front pockets.

Dan McComb

  • Where'd you go to school?: UMASS Amherst
  • What year was it?: 2005
  • What was the mascot?: Sam the Minuteman (oh the jokes!)
  • What song were you playing on repeat? The General by Dispatch
  • On what kind of technology?: iPod something
  • What was your major?: Biochemistry
  • And what are you doing now?: Operations
  • Go-to dorm meal?: Sushi or Stir Fry
  • Go-to outdoor activity?: Beach Volleyball!
  • Favorite article of clothing?: Adidas Hoodie
  • School pack?: No clue, swiss something.
  • What Topo pack would you carry to school if you were a freshman today?: Klettersack or 3-Day Global because it's obviously the best and who knows where you'll wake up.

Matt Williams

  • Where'd you go to school?: Missouri State University
  • What year was it?: 2006
  • What was the mascot?: Da Bears
  • What song were you playing on repeat? Kick, Push by Lupe Fiasco
  • On what kind of technology?: A used Blackberry and the dormitory's community desktop
  • What was your major?: Business Management
  • And what are you doing now?: Business Management
  • Go-to dorm meal?: Denver Omelette – the universe was telling me something
  • Go-to outdoor activity?: Water skiing
  • Favorite article of clothing?: I was pledging a fraternity, so it was our gold/blue pledge shirts (virtual head smack!)
  • School pack?: Jansport
  • What Topo pack would you carry to school if you were a freshman today?: Rover Pack Classic

Jennifer Maupin

  • Where'd you go to school?: Virginia Tech
  • What year was it?: 2006
  • What was the mascot?: Hokie (I know, what’s a Hokie?)
  • What song were you playing on repeat? Summertime by Kenny Chesney ha ha!
  • On what kind of technology?: iPod shuffle and a Nokia phone (without wifi, obviously)
  • What was your major?: Apparel, Housing, Resource Management
  • And what are you doing now?: Apparel Development
  • Go-to dorm meal?: Easy Mac in the individual cups
  • Go-to outdoor activity?: Frisbee on the drillfield & hiking McAfee Knob
  • Favorite article of clothing?: My maroon Champion VT hoodie… which I still have
  • School pack?: (I hate to admit this) Vera Bradley shoulder tote. I promise, it was cool in the South East 16 years ago!
  • What Topo pack would you carry to school if you were a freshman today?: The Camo Rover Shoulder Pack for my design classes & the Daypack Heritage Canvas for the classes with lots of books - easy to throw everything in and I’m a fan of the top zip so it’s easy to get in and out of!

John Taylor

  • Where'd you go to school?: Flagler College
  • What year was it?: 2008
  • What was the mascot?: Saints
  • What song were you playing on repeat? Probably something like Nevertheless by The Brian Jonestown Massacre
  • On what kind of technology?: iPod Classic
  • What was your major?: Fine Art and Graphic Design
  • And what are you doing now?: Senior Designer
  • Go-to dorm meal?: Hao Hao Ramen for sure.
  • Go-to outdoor activity?: Nothing like skateboarding to take my mind off of school.
  • Favorite article of clothing?: boardshorts
  • School pack?: Had a couple bags but I mainly used a Camelbak backpack and an Arcteryx backpack
  • What Topo pack would you carry to school if you were a freshman today?: Rover Pack Tech

Rose Spella

  • Where'd you go to school?: UW Milwaukee
  • What year was it?: 2008
  • What was the mascot?: Panthers
  • What song were you playing on repeat? Hahahaha oh god. This is embarrassing... It was the first year "I Love College" came out by Asher Roth.... so that was definitely on repeat 😂
  • On what kind of technology?: PC laptop...
  • What was your major?: Undecided
  • And what are you doing now?: Customer Service Rep for Topo
  • Go-to dorm meal?: Ramen noodles
  • Go-to outdoor activity?: Beach volleyball league!
  • Favorite article of clothing?: Probably my flip flops that I wore every time I took a shower in the dorms....siiiiick.
  • School pack?: Don't even remember...ha
  • What Topo pack would you carry to school if you were a freshman today?: Rover Pack Classic or Daypack!

Khristian Gilham

  • Where'd you go to school?: Colorado State University
  • What year was it?: 2011
  • What was the mascot?: Rams
  • What song were you playing on repeat? Mrs. Cold by Kings of Convenience, (I was a bit dramatic back then...)
  • On what kind of technology?: iPod Nano- the one with the camera. Lots of good content on that iPod, I'm sure.
  • What was your major?: Art
  • And what are you doing now?: Apparel Designer
  • Go-to dorm meal?: Instant Mac 'n Cheese or Goldfish
  • Go-to outdoor activity?: Climbing
  • Favorite article of clothing?: Tweed Long coat with a pretty fashiony asymmetrical zipper. So.
  • School pack?: Burton bag, (hand-me-down from brother)
  • What Topo pack would you carry to school if you were a freshman today?: Daypack, so simple and still looks cool

Leah Petrie

  • Where'd you go to school?: Colorado State University
  • What year was it?: 2016
  • What was the mascot?: Rams
  • What song were you playing on repeat? 33 God by Bon Iver (I definitely checked my Spotify Wrapped for this one)
  • On what kind of technology?: iPhone
  • What was your major?: Journalism and Art
  • And what are you doing now?: Warehouse Assistant
  • Go-to dorm meal?: Tuesday/Thursday breakfast burritos at Parmalee
  • Go-to outdoor activity?: Biking everywhere!
  • Favorite article of clothing?: my Birks
  • School pack?: A United By Blue backpack I regretted once seeing Topo bags around campus (true story, topo backpacks are iconic on campus).
  • What Topo pack would you carry to school if you were a freshman today?: Rover Pack Classic in Natural all the way!

Shout out to Leah for being the only one of us on this list who could reference her Spotify Wrapped to help her out. The rest of us will be over at @iamthirtyaf to help us remember that time in our lives.

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