New students are our future

As a long-time student at the University of Minnesota, I find the “invasion” of new students and their parents through the Orientation and First-Year Program encouraging and uplifting.

I count it an honor to be part of the University community, and it is thrilling to me to see others who are currently discovering why the University is one of the greatest places on earth. I can’t help but think how the class of 2016 will continue to raise the academic standards of the University of Minnesota.

The University has changed my life in ways simply unimaginable back when I returned to school in the spring of 2006. The College of Liberal Arts, the Master of Liberal Studies Program, the History Department, the Center for Global Studies: all are world-class organizations, and they have all touched my life and heart in inexpressible ways. The staff and faculty of those parts of the University provide inspiration and remain examples of dedication and professionalism to me.

I haven’t always received the best grades. I haven’t always produced the best papers. But, the University, to turn upside down Thomas Friedman’s world size small, has introduced me to ideas, to authors and to dreams that have moved my horizons to locations far, far away.

Yes, I hope that the newest Gophers will come to learn not only to dream, as I have, but will quickly realize that the University has the assets to help turn those dreams into reality.