I bet we all have memories from our youth, which, when viewed with a little more maturity, we regret. Maybe you pestered your little sister a little too keenly, or weren't quite as kind to that odd neighbor kid as you would be now. One of mine is about a roll of masking tape I borrowed from my dad. In high school, we liked to make big posters to hang in the gym at basketball games, but we always had trouble getting them to stay up. Dad had some super good tape, extra wide, extra sticky. When he handed it to me he said, bring the rest back if you can. That poster did stay up during the game in the sweaty gym, but of course I was too wrapped up in my own little high school life to remember to bring the rest of the roll home.
This incident of self absorption stuck with me, so one year I wrapped up a nice new roll of that same kind of tape and gave it to Dad for Christmas. He drew a blank when he opened the box, since he'd long forgotten all about it. Now that he's gone, I rely on that exchange to remember what he taught me, and that he at least got a glimpse of his goodness coming back. At first I was worried that I wouldn't remember enough about him, but it's been almost three years, and his sweet, quaint ways appear often at ordinary moments. For example, Dad was the king of driving an extra block to take advantage of a stop light versus making an unprotected left, and I never face that choice without a smile.
Much has happened since our last issue of NDSU magazine. In my immediate circle, though we lost Dad, we gained a lovely niece who married our swell NDSU computer science graduate nephew, and they have a puppy. Our NDSU English education graduate is teaching in western North Dakota. There's a wedding on the horizon. Another child, I so hope, is planning to enroll in college, somewhere. We all savor these same bits of family news, and thanks to social media, we are ever more up to date on one another.
But we also are part of another bigger community, my fellow Bison fans. Who knew we would celebrate back-to-back national championships, and show the country how real fans travel. And even more significantly, though shod in less flashy school colors, (have you seen those green and yellow fake fur leg warmer things they have at the Bookstore?) we joined the top ranks of universities in the nation in the Carnegie Classifications since our last magazine was issued. We celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Land-Grant act, the visionary legislation that opened the gates to higher education and literally transformed the country. Best of all, our students studied and learned and grew, and walked through graduations and ever more well-prepared people marched into the state and nation and world to be the next generation of leaders and problem solvers.
Thank you for returning to the magazine. We took a break from publishing, but not at all from appreciating you.
Thank you for reading.