This blog was written by Chris Kelly, associate vice president for university marketing and communication.
This time of year always gets me thinking about my first year as a student at Pittsburg State. After spending two years at Independence Community College (go Pirates!), I was ready to follow in my father’s footsteps and become a Gorilla.
Shortly after moving into a small two-bedroom apartment, (that only got smaller as my three roommates arrived) my parents made the drive up to visit. I wanted to take them on a tour of “my” new campus, but as we drove through town I quickly came to realize that this had been “their” campus first.
Dad began pointing out landmarks and mom started telling stories of days spent together on campus. I was stunned. The two people I had only known as parents were transforming, right before my eyes, into the college students they had been before I was born.
I learned of Sunday afternoons/evenings spent in McCray Hall watching old movies, the nights spent in the old gym watching basketball games, and how great it was to live in the basement apartment at Jack Overman’s house because you could sleep-in and still get to class. Each story ended with a laugh and a knowing smile.
There is something special about being a Gorilla. It’s a sense of belonging, and the knowledge that your campus cares as much about you as you do about it.
As the fall semester draws closer the number the students travelling across campus is increasing. Many of these students are walking across the Oval for the first time and most are accompanied by their mother or father.
As I see the parents pointing out buildings and landmarks I can’t help but wonder if their children are experiencing that same sense of transformation that I felt nearly twenty years ago. I hope so.
The countdown has begun … only 10 days until the semester begins.