Just got back from my alma mater where my high school’s football team won the state championship in the largest school division. A lot of fun to be sure. I have some genuinely nice kids who play on the team, and was glad to see two of them make key plays. Twice, the defense had to make goal line stands when the opponents had first-and-goal, and denied them twice! This was the school’s third title since 1995, and their fifth appearance in the championship game since 2000. This is the best showing of any upper division football team in the state over that run. I was glad for the head coach who has guided teams to three second place finishes in 8 years, and now has a championship to his credit.
One thing that seems to be true of colleges: no matter how old they get, things change as much as they are different. The student union (where I stayed in their cozy, reasonably priced hotel), has gotten rid of all the courtyards, and put in more internal spaces for students to eat, study, and get together. There is a nice salt water aquarium inside the main entrance now (not sure how that goes with the whole “midwestern” theme of the school, put it was provided by the “Aquarium Club”, which I never knew existed.
Lots of new buildings, mostly science and sports related. The “town” area has many new modern looking apartment buildings. The more modest apartment I co-rented for my last two years is still there. I can’t figure it out: I could barely afford renting that run down place back then, and the newer buildings must rent for (grossly and proportionally) much more than that …. yet I can only guess that the units are being rented, because a new (estimating) 20-30 story one is being built on the main street on campus by a private company (complete with private parking garage). I guess the number of rich people attending college is going up.
The engineering campus looks as grand as ever. The quad is about the only unchanged piece of real estate. My hotel room overlooked the quad, and could even see the top of the dome of the auditorium when I was sleeping in bed.