March 03, 2005
End of Chapter
My college degree has been reduced to a worthless piece of paper.
Well, I shouldn't say worthless, but it has been reduced, at least in my eyes.
After 19 years of trying, Southwest Missouri State University was finally successful in changing its name. They will now be known as Missouri State University (MSU). We're just waiting for Gov. Matt Blunt to sign the bill and it looks like he will. This means, that beginning August 28, 2005, my degree will be reduced to "Southwest Missouri State University, nka Missouri State University." I hate those "now known as" labels.
I'm happy for the university, this means a promotion of sorts. As a major university, they will get more money from the state, and that means they can finally pay their poor teachers and expand the curriculum. But I'm being selfish. I want my old school back.
By changing its name, the university will ultimately change. It will stretch into unrecognizable proportions, it will turn glossy, corporate, and impersonal. SMSU is the second largest university in Missouri, though it felt "small town" when I went there. Even though there were over 20,000 students, I recognized a lot of the faces.
Five years from now, when someone asks me where I graduated from college and I respond with "Southwest Missouri State Missouri," they will tilt their head, look confused and ask, "where?"
I know someday, I'll have my grandchildren around me and I'll tell them stories about the lean, struggling, sleep-deprived college years. Their eyes will go wide with wonder, their little mouths will moue into surprise and they will ask the question we all hate to hear as we get older.
"They had schools way back then, grandma?"
Yep, soon SMSU will be reduced to the "good ole days." This life chapter has ended, time to turn the page and start another one.