Thursday, October 17, 2013

Rah, Rah sis boom ba!

Michael, Ed, the teacher they honored (sorry, couldn't remember his name)

I recently attended Michael's homecoming and alumni celebration at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. If you have followed my posts for a year or more I put in a blip about it a couple years ago since we go every year. Michael is on the Alumni Chapter Board of Directors in the area of BILSA (Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture majors) and we go down there about 3 times a year. I hate the drive but it's worth it watching him rub elbows with old classmates and teachers he had and I have to admit I've made a few friends through my time with him there. High school is the same experience. Small town life brings with it some benefits at least for me as I wouldn't know a soul from high school. It's always fun as well to hear the classmates of these schools relate experiences that they remember about Michael that he hasn't shared with me.
Anyway the university experience is larger but interesting too. Upon arriving we attended an alumni luncheon where there were about 30 of us, 9 of whom were accepting awards for their work and contributions to the UW-P. Most had PHD's or Dr's degrees and their award came from an enormous amount of years with tons of money and time contributions to the school. I wondered at the time how they had the time to rack up so many accolades. Some even had buildings or scholarships named after them. It was truly amazing. One couple had bought a restaurant and a Dairy Queen in town. They made it their life goal to specifically hire the young students at the school. Then they mentored them through their college experience.  
Michael and one of his buddy's from college nominated one of their former teachers for his contribution in the field of media and television.  They said he was way ahead of his time. Ed composed a speech to share with the group.

Michael, the Chancellor Dennis Shields, Ed and the former teacher

I always enjoy seeing Michael with his friend Ed and the teacher was so touched by their honor of his work and as their teacher. I guess there is still time to at least make a dent in the lives of those around us.
The day ended with a huge luncheon that is supported by the Alumni committees for the school. Even though Karen went to the rival school (University of Wisc - Eau Claire) the Platteville experience is wonderful as well. They're strong suit is Engineering but they cover all majors. Talking with the teachers and staff members along with alumni I always get the impression that the students are of utmost importance to them. They care very deeply about their success and continuing their life after graduation.

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