Walk tall, Spartans….
It feels like just yesterday when I first set foot on this most beautiful campus.
It was the Fall of 1989.
I had hair on my entire head.
I was able to get out of bed without injuring myself.
I day-dreamed about what the inside of The Landshark looked like.
On evenings when it would be snowing, I’d put on my WALKMAN – Millennials, look it up on the Google – and walk through campus while listening to R.E.M., Uncle Tupelo, The Replacements, or Toad The Wet Sprocket.
On gorgeous Autumn afternoons, I’d drift off during class and listen to the Spartan Marching Band as it prepared for that Saturday’s game.
The Breslin Center was brand new and it shined and shimmered, awaiting all of the banners to come that would soon fill up the rafters.
The soft crunch of the leaves under my feet was like classical music when I’d be crossing over the bridge in between the library and Spartan Stadium.
I might have slept in Campbell Hall when I wasn’t supposed to – and I loved it every time.
I saw a relatively unknown band called “Pearl Jam” kick off a night of music that also featured another relatively unknown band called “Smashing Pumpkins” and the Red Hot Chili Peppers at The Auditorium.
I was heartbroken many times – by the Spartans on the gridiron and the hardwood.
But my love for my school only grew after each of those heartbreaks that have made the great moments all the better these days.
There might be a campus that is more beautiful out there somewhere.
But it’s not my campus.
And every time I go back, I’m immediately reminded of why it will always be home to me.
Like so many Spartans I met back during those years that are still the best friends of my life after all this time, I’m already looking forward to being along the banks of the Red Cedar River this coming Fall to soak up all of the colors, the traditions, the memories, and the magic of our great university….