By Jack Mattern
As you step back on campus this weekend, you may take notice of things that have changed since you were last here. You might also find that comfortable feeling of nostalgia that convinced you to return in the first place. What you will definitely find, though, is that Albion College still feels like home.
It’s where you met your best friends, whether it was in class or at a frat house. It’s where you learned the skills that brought you into the career you love. A lucky number of you may have even met your life partners here. Regardless, Albion helped you become the man or woman that you are today.
I want to share my experience with you, along with some recent things that have happened on campus.
The first time I came to Albion in the Fall of 2012, I saw the Rock. It was painted in the now familiar purple and gold colors. Since the first time I saw it, I swear it’s gotten a lot bigger. That’s probably because all of our outstanding organizations don’t hide their pride. Painting it is something I have yet to take part in, but I know many of you have left your mark on it in years past.
Beyond the Rock, I saw the quad in all of its lush, green glory. Squirrels scurried from tree to tree as birds chirped and leaves rustled in the wind. The serenity of that scene helped to assure me I had made the right decision for my future. I hope you visit it when you return and come upon a scene similar to the one I did on that day, and I hope it can provide the same calm feelings that it doubtlessly did when you were a student here.
On the first day of classes, I was absolutely amazed at how personable my professors were. Within one week, they all had my name memorized. I assume some of you might have had professors who were more like friends than educators. Perhaps you’ll run into one this weekend and still be on a first-name basis with him or her.
I think you’ll all remember eating at Baldwin Hall. In the past few years, the days of mystery meat have been replaced with days of freshly made entrées that could make food critics drool. The cafeteria has also very recently undergone major renovations. While you may not get a chance to see the cafeteria, remember the friendships that started and grew over whatever food looked the least menacing.
Lastly, I want to talk about the friends I’ve made in my three semesters at Albion. They are among the main reasons I continue attending the college. Trying to imagine Albion without them is impossible. Whether they were made while studying, or they lived across the hall from me at Wesley, they are irreplaceable. I hope you get the chance to catch up with the friends you made while students here. The people are the most important part of Albion College. They are “Just One More” reason this school feels like home.
Photo by Jack Mattern