Press Releases

The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company Announces Finalists for Their Annual Life of Significance Award

Company recognizes contenders ahead of the Collegiate Rugby Championship

HORSHAM, Pa. – May 22, 2017 – In advance of the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship (CRC) on June 3-4, The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company (Penn Mutual) announced 18 candidates in contention for their 2017 Life of Significance Award. The award is given annually to a collegiate rugby player participating in the CRC. The recipient exemplifies Penn Mutual’s values of integrity, commitment and respect, and has made substantial contributions to society and their community.

The Penn Mutual Life of Significance Award is inspired by the book authored by Joseph Jordan, “Living a Life of Significance,” which focuses on the positive impact the life insurance industry has on society. Highlights of the nominees are included below:

  • Skyler Adams, American International College class of 2017, from Colorado Springs, CO, has served as captain for three years on the AIC men’s rugby team. As a young adult, Adams overcame family hardship and after seeing how quickly everything could be taken from him, he was determined to get a degree. Adams goes out of his way to do what he can for others and uses his own life experiences to help others overcome life’s challenges.
  • N’Keiah Butler, Life University, is from Lakewood, WA. She serves as an Airman First Class in the United States Air Force Reserves. Butler is a volunteer with Hosea Feed the Hungry, Grady Memorial Hospital, and the Life athletic department. Last summer, she traveled to Jamaica to teach rugby and lacrosse at a youth home in Kingston.
  • Nolan Hedglin, U.S. Military Academy, from Charlotte, NC, is committed to serving his country and helping others. Hedglin has volunteered at a summer camp for children with specials needs for the last five years. He is also working to improve military technology to help the United States government assess potential security threats.
  • Willy Hock, a native of Manhattan Beach, CA, is the captain of the Boston College 7s team. Hock has a team-first mentality, and emphasizes hard work and camaraderie between team members. Hock has spent time as a volunteer for kids participating in the Special Olympics to ensure that they all have a memorable experience.
  • Adam Hockaday, Duke University from Meadow, NC is a leader of the Duke rugby program. He combines his passion for rugby and giving back as a mentor and coach of his high school rugby team.
  • Jenna Jones, U.S. Naval Academy, from Eustis, FL, is president of Navy Women’s Rugby. She leads a team of 30 women on the team and is dedicated to a number of worthy causes, including Toys for Tots, The Boys and Girls Club and the Maryland Special Olympics. Jones also serves as a peer educator and mentor for the Sexual Harassment Assault Prevention Education program at the Naval Academy. 
  • Matt Lydon, Saint Joseph’s University class of 2020, is from Staten Island, NY. Lydon’s exceptional play on the field is matched by his commitment to helping others off it. Lydon has served as a “Big Brother” for students at a local elementary school and has helped kids with disabilities.
  • Dominic Mann of Christendom College, from Leesburg, VA, is committed to becoming a better player each day and is a natural leader on the team. For nearly seven years he has spent time building and repairing homes and has been a leader on a number of campus initiatives aimed at supporting those in need.
  • Cody Melphy of Littleton, CO, has been an integral part of the success at Life University. The senior is a leader at early morning workouts and is known for giving maximum effort both on the field and in all of Life rugby’s charitable contributions.
  • Joey Rydzewski, Babson College class of 2018, from Norwood, MA, is the Head of Advocacy for the group Colleges Against Cancer. Rydzewski has organized events in conjunction with the Hope Lodge of Boston to raise awareness, attract volunteers and to raise money for the fight against cancer.
  • Mitchell Sanderson, U.S. Military Academy, from Waipahu, HI served in the active military with a tour in Afghanistan prior to joining the academy and received numerous awards for leadership and exemplary achievements while on duty. Sanderson has received accolades on the rugby pitch and has helped the rugby team plan and execute many community service events.
  • Anthony Salaber, University of California, from Davis, CA, will play in his fifth CRC this season and is a two-time All-American. He is an active global citizen who is committed to the community and carrying himself with integrity. Salaber has played an integral part in Saving One Another, a non-profit organization started by his father, which sustains an orphanage and school in Kathmandu, Nepal.
  • Kiernan Somers of Colby College from Westwood, MA served as the Colby men’s rugby club president in 2016. After the rugby program was cut in 2013, Somers was a vocal advocate for preserving Colby Rugby, which was ultimately saved.
  • Davon Thomas of Lindenwood University is from Kansas City, MO, and has been a three year captain of the 15s and 7s rugby program. Thomas has helped with Rookie Rugby clinics in the St. Louis area to inspire others to play the sport and has helped create a culture of giving back within the Lindenwood women’s rugby program.
  • Travis Vickers, University of Tennessee, from Franklin, TN, has been an integral part of the rugby program and has dedicated time to a myriad of worthy causes. Most notably, Vickers has worked to provide food and shelter for the homeless in both his home city and Philadelphia.
  • Harley Wheeler, Life University, from Knoxville, TN, brings a unique energy and passion to the team to meet goals. Wheeler is motivating of others and his team sees him as an exemplary leader. He is always willing to help teammates and offer candid advice to younger team members.
  • Riley Wirth, University of Notre Dame MBA candidate, from Chesapeake, VA, previously served in the Navy. He is described as extremely motivated, driven with character and integrity, as he often works with teammates after hours to practice and has a team-first mentality. Wirth volunteered in the University of Notre Dame Haiti Program and is an active member of the University of Notre Dame MBA Veterans Club.

In addition to individual finalists, the Clemson Rugby Program has also been recognized. The program turns 50 this year, and has engaged in a number of philanthropic activities and embraces integrity. This past year, the team has worked with organizations such as Homes of Hope, Kamp Kemo, participated in Relay for Life, and cooked meals for Collins Children’s Home.

Upon winning the award, a $5,000 contribution will be made to the charity of the recipient’s choice, and the program’s rugby team will receive $1,000 in Rhino Rugby gear for equipment needs.

About The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company
Since 1847, Penn Mutual has been driven by our purpose to create a world of possibilities. At the heart of this purpose is the belief that purchasing life insurance is the most protective, responsible and rewarding action a person can take, and is central to a sound financial plan. The company is committed to helping families unlock life’s possibilities through life insurance and annuity solutions. This is accomplished through a national network of financial professionals, who help clients make great things possible. Penn Mutual supports its field representatives with brokerage services through Hornor, Townsend & Kent, Inc., Registered Investment Advisor and wholly owned subsidiary. Member FINRA/SIPC. Visit Penn Mutual on the Internet at


Riana Aldana
Gregory FCA
(610) 228-2127

Keith Bratz
Penn Mutual
(215) 956-7907