Thanks, CSU

May 082003
Authors: Rod Rodriguez

With graduation just one week away, I look back over my five years here at Colorado State and the tremendous amount of people who contributed to my success as a student.

It is important to recognize those people in our lives who are significant or who helped inspire us to greatness. I am also one who believes in leading by example so in my final column for The Collegian I would like to thank everyone who helped me graduate. Without these people in my life, my journey would have been much more perilous.

Thank you to my mother for giving me her last dollar and a shoulder to cry on, my dad and Cheri for being there even when things didn’t turn out the way you hoped they would. Thanks to my Sissi for strolls through the mall, cute guys in Jeeps and the greatest summer of my life, DJ for teaching me what true love really is and Tom for being the greatest dad an uncle could ask for. Also, Mi Familia, thank you for being the wonderful people you are.

Kathy, the Grace to my Will, San Diego wouldn’t be the same without you, and Sam for being your wonderful, smartass self. Thanks to Randy for keeping me dry and not letting me melt away and all the folks at GLBTSS for giving me a second home. An Avalanche game will never be the same – thanks Dave. And to Rachael, the only person who could make me don a basketball helmet. Thank you.

Jamie for letting me call you at all hours of the night. Josh, Jo, Kevin, the Rachels and the rest of my Hillel friends, thanks for the work distractions. Cord and Melissa for the craziest and greatest last semester I could ask for. Thank you to my friend Violet and “Michelle” and for the most valuable lesson a college student could learn – when and when not to go to a buffet. Kelly, a.k.a. Karen, your purse is truly magical and so is your smile. Drew, I wouldn’t have changed anything between us. Thanks for still being here. Val, you are one of the wisest people I have met at CSU, I’ll miss “Buffy” night, and to the other Josh, despite the way things ended, I still enjoyed our time together.

To the instructors at CSU who helped me through everything: Patricia Atchison for a hug when I needed one most, Eric Aoki for having an open door, an open ear and an open heart. Bruce Hall, a man I most admire, for being such a strong voice and ally. Brian Jones, you are one of the greatest educators I’ve ever experienced. Also to Jack Lovelace for your wonderful criticisms, Kim Spencer for our in-between class chats and Jamie Switzer for listening when I thought no one would.

Thanks to all my PLP companions for one heck of a year, as well as Brian, Glenn, Lisa and Lindsey for fighting the good fight. You guys rocks. Mari, aka “mama,” your smile could light up more than a room, and all the wonderful people in Student Affairs especially Blanche, Beth, Linda, Jody, Mark and Viviane, the true advocates for students. Students on this campus who don’t know you will never know what you truly do for them. Thanks to Barb for doing what you do tirelessly and thanklessly, and to the Board of Governors for choosing a president, not a politician.

To Matt, whose unnecessary death brought out so much good in so many people. To Jim, Romaine and all my UW friends for showing me the other side of Laramie. Thanks to Kristen, my old roommate, for providing me so many stories and a lot of laughs and all my compadres at that little ice cream shop for giving me the best place to work in Fort Collins.

Despite the other 40 names I can think of, the last ones I want to thank are all of my readers. Most of you provided thoughtful insight, tears and some provided laughter. I enjoyed hearing from you all. Thank you.

I would like to end with something written by Eric Aoki. I think he sums this up well. “Keep your heads up, study hard, focus and know that the beauty of life is that at any given moment we can grow, change and mean something better for ourselves and for those we care about and love.”

In July, Rod is moving to San Diego to finally realize his dream.

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