Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Twenty-seven years ago during the month of July, I was preparing to leave for my first year of college. That August, I would move into the beautiful and historical dorm on the front campus of Mississippi University for Women and begin my studies that would eventually lead to a Bachelor's Degree in Family and Human Development.

I would learn a lot in those ivy-covered classrooms. But more my education at M.U.W. was more than just about gaining head knowledge. Due to the small college setting; little distraction from males due to the majority female student population; and the warm, family atmosphere; I would have many opportunities to build amazing relationships.

I never thought I'd quote Muhammad Ali in relation to my alma mater, but this one is quite fitting---

Friendship... is not something you learn in school. But if you haven't learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven't learned anything.

Our professors lectured on the industrial revolution, symbolism in English literature, and principles of social work. But through a myriad of organizations, activities, and traditions such as Songfest, social clubs, and class rivalries, deep and lasting friendships were forged.

And the beautiful thing about "W" friendships is that those friendships keep on forming long after we carry the magnolia chain on graduation day. As new students enroll at M.U.W. and more graduate, our college draws us together in ways I never could have imagined back in the summer of 1984.

Twice a year, alums, students, and future W-Girls in our metro area gather at Keifer's Restaurant for good food but mostly for great gab. Some of us have never met before. By age, we're separated by years, sometimes even decades. But the love we share for The W as well as the bond of common experiences overcome those barriers and build friendships out of those who would otherwise remain total strangers.

When I entered M.U.W. I thought I was just going for a college education and some fun thrown in here and there. I had no idea what I was really in for --- gaining a family of friends that only grows bigger and richer with each passing year...and each shared meal of hummus, pita, and gyros.

No comments: