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The new year has me reflecting on 2011.
Last fall, I was honored to be honored by my college, Southwest Minnesota State University, with an Alumni Achievement Award for personal and professional achievements. (It was called Southwest State University when I went there.)
My first thought is, "What have I done to deserve this?" That was shortly followed by, "I'm sure there are plenty of other candidates out there."
Don't get me wrong, I feel very fortunate that I was nominated by those in my former Radio/TV departments. I've been told that I'm the only alumni who has received a national Edward R. Murrow award.
That day sure took me back to a wonderful time.
My wife and I made the trip to Marshall, Minnesota, in September. It was the first time we had been back to campus (That is where we met.) in more than a decade. We stopped at a couple of our favorite downtown haunts and met with some friends.
At the school, I had the pleasure of meeting the current crop of students and gave a presentation on how their college experiences translate in the real world of television. There was a luncheon with the three other honorees. Speeches. Memories. Good times.
We saw several of the professors who helped mold us into adults. It was great seeing them -- strange though, considering we're no longer treated as students.
We toured the old facilities that looked like nothing had changed in 20-years. We also saw many new buildings such as the football field. (A design based on the Creighton's soccer field, I was told.)
Back in the day, I ran the college radio station. We also did a daily 15-minute newscast on the campus cable access channel. I could easily picture myself as a teenager again since the studio and classrooms looked unchanged.
One thing became clearer with the visit. I was reminded with just how much college shaped me. I could go back in an instant. I think back now -- why was I in such a rush to get a job? I should have been on the 7-year plan!!!