- Category: Volume 85 (Fall 2013 - Spring 2014)
- Published: 26 March 2014
You have good days and you have bad days in life. How many times have you heard that one? Things had been very hectic for me so the mood at the office was frazzled and bleak.
Jarring me from my possible despair, my cell phone rings and it's Chad Dell, the Chair of the Department of Communication. He explained to me the new Alumni Academy and goes on to inform me that I am being inducted. I think my first reaction was shock but then a sense of pride started to seep in.
Dell explained we would have a dinner in which Paul Brown, the new President of the University would be in attendance. Dell informed me I could invite a friend, I immediately called my wife Kerry.
I had the great honor to be inducted with two old friends from the communication department, Alitia Falcone '86 and Haskell Berman '86. I also had the pleasure to meet Mr. Peter Miller '71, an inductee who's known in the Literary Industry as a "Literary Lion."
It was great to catch up with old friends and meet new friends. Dell had tasked each of us to prepare a speech for the attendees. Here I thought it would be a relaxing evening with no pressure. Well we are communication majors and it shouldn't be a surprise that all of the inductees were great. Sorry a bit of bias in that review.
We heard some great stories and fond memories like; Alitia Faccone's story of her first week at the University walking down the steps of Wilson Hall and Peter's audition for "Woody," aka Lauren Woods with a propeller prop in hand.
I shared some of my memories which seemed to have come alive that night as I recalled the great professors who inspired us and my favorite College Center Staff member, Blanche who was the mother of us all on the third floor. She would often visit the radio station or my yearbook office, to make sure we weren't getting into trouble. Blanche would love to say; "I am going to tell John Martin on you!"
Kerry was very touched and understood why I wanted to give back to the University after that night. MU created a place that enabled us to do whatever we wanted and as Professor Huber said that night, "Nobody told the students no." We didn't have a state-of-the art TV studio but a place in the barn with a small VHS editing system. The radio station was just a couple of rooms and a small studio, but we had the best time and we learned how to be creative and use the tools we had to excel.
Earlier in the day I participated in the "Thinking out of the Box" Career forum, which is perfect for me because I am the guy who's always way outside the box. MU set the stage for me to challenge the norm, creatively think and solve problems which is a skill that I believe all majors could utilize.
So, it's with great honor to be a part of this Alumni Academy and I look forward to continuing my involvement with the University and helping future alumni make an easier transition into the next phase of their lives.