Looking Back


Longer ago than I care to remember I left home and headed for Tallahassee and Florida State University.  Since graduating I’ve remained a Seminole fan but never returned to campus until now at the invitation of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies.

The weekend just happened to be Homecoming, and it was great fun experiencing all the hype surrounding a football game.  In case you don’t know, Seminole football is big stuff and on Saturdays the huge stadium becomes a sea of rabid garnet and gold fans chopping and chanting to the rhythm provided by the Marching Chiefs.

Chief Osceola incites the crowd when he comes charging onto the field riding Renegade and plants the spear in the middle of the field.  As with any college, there is so much tradition steeped in the rituals.

Speaking of FSU tradition, part of it involves the Seminole tribe with which the university has a close relationship.  

Together they share the motto “Unconquered” depicted in this bronze sculpture outside the stadium.   I learned in conversation with members of the tribe that for the Seminoles it relates to the fact they are the only unconquered tribe in the US.  With the exception of one tribe that lives in Oklahoma, the rest, numbering about 3,000, are spread among six groups that reside in south Florida.

Being on campus was about more than football.  It revived so many memories and made me think once again about my life and how different it might have been without the experience of those four years.  Leaving home and going to college opened new doors and gave me surprising opportunity all of which contributed to a growing confidence and an evolving sense of self.  Armed with that and an appreciation for learning, I left the university unafraid of the future.  As years have passed and I reflect on the events that have defined my life, I know  that much of the credit goes to those Tallahassee years.

As I observed the youngsters who are now walking the grounds of FSU, I couldn’t help but wonder where their college experience would lead them and if they have any idea how lucky they are to be where they are.  I wondered what they would take away and if in years to come they would feel their years at FSU were a life changing experience.

I suppose all of us have those moments or years that make special impact on our life and allow us to move forward with confidence.  For me, they began at FSU and I am grateful.  Where did your special moments begin?

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

11 thoughts on “Looking Back

  1. Florida Southern ’71, Pi Kappa Alpha

  2. FSU Seminoles and football are so much a part of living in Florida. I’m sure you had a great time.

    1. College football days are, indeed, great fun especially when they are enjoyed with great company and endless food!

  3. Great story! I wrote a similar article a few years back and it was published in our Alumni magazine. The link to the magazine (Google is a beautiful thing) is http://www.msmary.edu/alumni/alumni_news/mount-magazine/pdfs/MountMagSpr06.pdf and then you have to scroll down to page 40.

    I am enjoying your combination of writing and pictures and look forward to learning more about village life in Maine…RJV

    1. Thank you for sharing the link where I enjoyed reading your story. I am grateful four your thoughtful and kind responses.

  4. My husband graduated from FSU and is a Seminole fan. It’s craze when there is a home game. The stadium is awesome! Go Seminoles!

    1. Your husband is a Seminole? How crazy is that!

  5. Touching reflections in this post. So glad you were able to go and enjoy your alma mater.

    I enjoyed learning about the Seminole tribes and FSU.

  6. Hope you had a great time both at FSU and your travels and didn’t get caught up in the storm. Maine got off relatively easy I think. Neale hastily pulled the boat out yesterday and Bowie and Nellie came over from Islesboro but we didn’t even lose power, at least not yet.

    Passed the most beautiful red blueberry field yesterday and thought of you.

    Love Betsy

    Sent from my iPad

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