Annie Chappell wears wears the No. 20 jersey, the same as her dad's baseball number at Emory.

Annie Chappell carries on family legacy of Oxford and sports

Annie Chappell continues a tradition of excellence in athletics as a third generation Oxford/Emory student.

First-year student Annie Chappell considers it an honor to follow in her family's footsteps, but she is also making her own path here at Oxford. Chappell, originally from Georgia but now from Virginia, is a third-generation Oxford/Emory student.

Her grandfather Robert E. "Bob" Chappell Jr. 56Ox 58B started the Emory tradition at the Oxford campus. Later, her dad Brett Chappell 87C attended Emory. Her brother Henry Chappell 14Ox 16C followed almost 60 years later.

Even though having many family members attend Oxford—her uncle even met her aunt here—influenced her decision about where to attend college, Chappell knew that wasn’t her only option.

"My parents weren’t telling me where to go," Chappell says. "They said, 'Go where you want to go.' My mom told me that a two-year school would be a great opportunity to have a leadership role early on, though."

When she visited the campus several times during her brother's years at Oxford, she realized it was a "great fit for me." Enjoying the small campus, she discovered it's where she wanted to end up after all.

"I like that I get to see a lot of people I know every day, which you don't get at a big school," Chappell explains. "At first, I was worried it would be too small, but I really love that now."

Plus, she has a deep history with the Oxford and Atlanta Emory campuses.

Chappell lived in the metro Atlanta area during her elementary school years. "We went to a lot of the Emory baseball games and (Atlanta) Braves games with my grandfather and our whole family," Chappell recalls, adding that she and her brother also attended summer baseball camps there. 

Shaping Emory sports

In addition to simply attending Oxford or Emory, much of her family helped shaped some of the futures of the schools' sports teams.

Bob Chappell, Annie's grandfather who still lives in Griffin, Ga., played tennis and basketball at Oxford. He gave funding for the Chappell Park baseball field at Emory's campus in the mid-1990s. Emory dedicated the field to him and his family in March 1995. A long-time supporter of the Emory varsity athletic program, Bob is also an emeritus member of the Oxford College Board of Counselors.

Annie's dad Brett Chappell started the club baseball team at Emory in 1985. In the early 1990s, her uncle Ted Chappell 91Ox 93C played on the first Emory baseball team to compete in a NCAA tournament.

"They rubbed off on me for sure," Chappell admits about her family's involvement in sports. "In high school, my parents pushed me to be committed when I participated in sports and to take care of myself and to perform well."

When she was younger, Chappell was the only female player on a baseball team at one point. At her small high school in St. Louis, Mo., she was one of 40 people in her graduating class. She played volleyball, soccer, and basketball.

"Playing sports was a huge part of my high school experience," says Chappell, whose younger sister now plays volleyball in Virginia. "What I love so much about sports are the bonds and lasting friendships I form with my teammates."

After graduating from Crossroads College Preparatory School, Chappell decided to play soccer at Oxford. She joined the women's team that recently played at the regional competition in Maryland.

Although she enjoys a variety of sports, Chappell admits soccer is one of her favorites of all times. On the Oxford team, she wears the No. 20 jersey—her dad's baseball number at Emory. 

In the soccer off season, she hopes to also try Oxford club basketball and go from there on her college journey. She hasn't declared a major yet, but is interested in art history.

In the meantime, she enjoys when her family visits the campus and sees the changes and additions that have been made over the years, even the short time since her brother attended.

"They have been really impressed to see it grow," she notes. "Even with my grandfather, he's seen the changes happen when he comes to campus over the years and likes to see the improvements. My family has seen this campus for many years and they love visiting to see how it has advanced from year to year."