Sunday, March 24, 2013

I am La Salle.

La Salle University just made it into the Sweet Sixteen.  The end of the game was so intense that I was hiding in my La Salle blanket because I just couldn't watch.  Only Jason counting the seconds aloud and the cheers that went up let me know the game had ended in our favor.

I have always enjoyed college basketball.  My father attended a school that went to the "Big Dance" from time to time, and we went to a Mount or La Salle game occasionally.  I went to maybe 4 La Salle games in my time there, partly because I was just so busy, and the energy around the team didn't pull me in.  I went to a few games while I taught, mainly as something to do while J was at work.  One of my colleagues in the history department is the team's "spiritual advisor," so I went to the game honoring  him last year.

The team was on fire this year.  Big upsets, exciting games: It made me miss being on campus.

Most people where I live now hadn't heard of La Salle until A) they met me or B) this past week.

They have now.

I'm so excited for the possibilities the Big Dance opens up for a school like La Salle.  Alumni donations, enrollment, recruitment, and the positive PR is something a long time coming for this wonderful school.

Now that folks have heard of our men's basketball team (GO EXPLORERS), they may now hear about the nurturing community, award winning Honors Program, and all of the other perks that come from a La Sallian education.  Schools like La Salle don't live and die by a sports program (although it doesn't hurt).  We rely on something deeper, something bigger than ourselves.  The values of St. John Baptiste de La Salle tie us together in ways that sometimes take us years to realize.  I can list at least 20 people that I know who found their spouse at La Salle (myself included).  Friends made here are friends for life.

2013 marks the school's 150th anniversary, founded in the midst of the American Civil War.  We have survived wars (when our students were only men); we have reached out all over the world to make life better for the less fortunate; we have academic credentials that impress (98% med school acceptance rate and 50 Fulbright Scholars, to name two).

In short, I hope the Big Dance shines the light on a school that deserves a second look.  I loved my times on campus (student and faculty), and I am eager to return one day (either as faculty or as a parent).

In all my actions, I am La Salle.
In association, we are La Salle.


LLP and I leaping for joy on campus, 2009.

Graduation, May 2008.
 - M., class of 2008.