Molley and Tessa with waterskiing team

A Passion for Waterskiing Helps Two Boilermakers Find a Family on Campus


Molley Cook (Farm Management; Clayton, IN) and Tessa Smith (Agribusiness: Management; Saint Joseph, IL) both possess a love for waterskiing that was instilled in them at an early age. When asked about their experience with waterskiing, Molley responded “I have been water skiing just about my whole life.” The same goes for Tessa, who noted that she has been waterskiing since age 6. Thus, upon their arrival at Purdue, joining the waterskiing team was a given.

Waterskiing team at lake where they practice

The Purdue waterskiing team practices at a lake about 45 minutes from campus. Their competitions, however, take the team across the country. From Michigan to Louisiana, the Purdue waterskiing team tries to display their talents. Both skiers explained that these events are full of fun and lots of time with their beloved teammates. Both Molley and Tessa are slalom jumpers for the team. Molley has also gained leadership experience as the team’s treasurer. She states, “I get to primarily work with the team to come up with fundraising ideas to help our team out financially.”

When asked about their favorite aspect of being on the waterskiing team, Molley and Tessa expressed how much their family-like team meant to them. Tessa stated, “Since joining the team, my love for the sport has grown so much and my teammates have become like family.” Molley echoed these same feelings by saying “This team has created such a happy, safe place for me at Purdue. I finally feel like I have become a part of a family, which is exactly what I needed.” Tessa goes on to say, “I have loved the experiences and opportunities the Purdue Waterski Team provided me and would recommend it to others, even if you have little skiing experience.”

The team’s hard work and dedication paid off. Last summer, the team qualified for the National Tournament in Zachary, LA.


Waterskiing team with award at national tournament

Filled with passion and love for the team they have joined, Molley and Tessa encourage students to join the Purdue waterskiing team. They have grown their skiing skillset and leadership skills while on the team. More importantly, they have turned their childhood passions into an inseparable family navigating not only water, but life together.