Emmanuel “Eman” Bofa, ’10, was on the go seemingly the moment he arrived at Whitworth. In 2008, he won first place in the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field 800-meter run, making him the second Whitworth male athlete to win an NCAA title. He continued to rank at the top of this event, setting a stadium record in the 800 meters in 2009 at the Don Drumm facility at Marietta College, Ohio, and earning a second national title.
Though he may have inherited his swiftness from his father, who qualified to run for Ghana in the 1976 Olympics (Ghana was one of several African countries that boycotted the Olympics that year), Bofa’s dedication to rigorous training schedules and his positive attitude made him a consummate athlete, one who spoke humbly about his success. “I understand it’s a big accomplishment and something to be proud of, but I don’t really take any of the credit,” he said in 2008 after his first title win. “For all of this to be accomplished, so many other things had to take place, and 99 percent of those things were out of my control. . .I just feel blessed and thankful for being able to accomplish something of this stature.”
Bofa came to Whitworth from Puyallup, Wash., on a scholarship from the Act Six Leadership and Scholarship Initiative. The program identifies and develops urban and community leaders to engage with their college campuses and their home communities. “I really feel like the kids I grew up with didn’t have a chance,” Bofa said. “I honestly don’t know why God helped me out and gave me a chance, but he did, so I feel I can go back and help.”
After earning a B.A. in speech communication, Bofa remained at Whitworth for two years to earn a master of arts in theology, and he started a sports ministry on campus, now known as “Awake.” Because he was injured during his freshman year, he was eligible to compete one more season for Whitworth’s indoor track team. He ended his athletics career with six All-America performances.
Today, Bofa and his wife live in Tacoma, Wash. Following a stint with World Vision, he now works for the Franklin Pierce School District through the YMCA as an after-school program coordinator and P.E. teacher.