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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Oh Captain, My Captain

This is an ode to President Dan Garvey. For I have known him for the past two years since attending this school. He has brought many ideas into my head, heart, and hands that have stayed with me for quite some time. This is especially true before leaving on the Arizona Trail expedition, he had dinner with the team before embarking and we asked if he had any advice, he said, "I don't want to put any assumptions onto the table. This is your journey, now go and live it." And live it we did.

Sitting on the front porch watching the horses before dinner while playing the guitar, Dan sat down next to me and told me he used to play the guitar quite often as well, this was before he contracted Multiple Sclerosis. For his right hand is not as agile as it once was, but he asked if I wouldn't mind strumming while he put his left hand on the frets. There I was, sharing a guitar with my college president, all the while watching Arabian horses running through a field, and smelling a delicious dinner being prepared.

Like most faculty, instructors, and administrators here at Prescott College, they all show themselves to be people, rather than a talking mirror. I still go out to breakfast on a regular basis with my first writing professor, Jeff Fearnside, along with his wife who works in the registrars office.

To me, this college is very academically, emotionally, and physically challenging, but it also feels like a truly sustainable living community. It will be hard to leave after graduation in 2012, but I believe that I will always remember the friendships that presented themselves. For Prescott College is not a set of buildings, or a sign out front with a logo, but the people who are creating this beautifully productive environment. It will be different to not have Dan around next year, but he will be back to teach a few classes in the fall of 2011. Furthermore, I am hopeful that the new president, Dr. Kristin Woolever, will transform this college to meet the needs of the future, all the while maintaining the wonderful community we currently reside in.

O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,

                                                    -Walt Whitman 
Here is to a great man, and a great future for the college he helped produce; along with a legacy that will continue sailing with the winds of grace, dignity, and compassion.

Gentle seas, 


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