Some Sunday in August 2010, I remember I finished staining a deck with the help of some family members, hopped in my light-blue Chevy Cavalier (it was a manual, so as far as I was concerned, a bona fide sports car), and drove the 6.5 hours to Lincoln, NE for my first week as a college student.
I got to Union College and the next 3 years are literally a blur in my memory. Some basketball games and practices here, banquets and ASB events there, music trips and rolls at Buell’s, with a quick trip to Australia for a year in 2012... Those were the fun, carefree, self-seeking, immature years. I was doing a LOT of growing, and I was lucky to be surrounded by so many loving peers and mentors who helped me navigate my way through all the mistakes and successes.
If you know me, you might be asking, “He’s still fun, carefree, self-seeking, and immature... what’s changed?”
I could make a long list of pretty minor, mostly insignificant changes—like my haircut, income, and time spent eating DeLeons after midnight on a Tuesday—but I’ve narrowed the list of significant changes over the past 5 years down to 2 main things:
1) My faith in Jesus became my own.
2) I met the most incredible and beautiful woman in the world, and married her.
Growing up a pastors kid in a Protestant Christian, Seventh-Day Adventist home, I lived a religious life. I tried to be a “good Adventist”, a good person, but ultimately didn’t know Who I was worshiping or why I was worshiping.
That changed while I was at Union, thanks to spiritual leaders who were good examples, not forceful, and who encouraged independent, critical thinking and diligent studying (the year in Australia was CRUCIAL to this change as well, but that’s another story altogether).
As for Morgan Aubrey—she is the single greatest gift that God gave me during my experience at Union College. I’d double my student loans in a heartbeat if it was necessary to marry that girl. If it weren’t for my time as a student and the opportunity presented to work for the institution after I graduated, I can confidently say I would have missed out on that gift.
So, for that reason alone, words can’t express my gratitude to Union College. As I move forward into a new position with TekSystems tomorrow, I look back and I’m overwhelmed with all the wonderful memories I’ve made on that little campus. All I can say is— Thanks for the Love, Union.
Aaaaaaaaaand here she is, the real reason you all scrolled through that sentimental, mushy cheese writing.
She’s literally perfect. :)