The impact one school had on so many of us.

Ashley Teatum

2009

Whenever I describe my time at "The U" to those who were not fortunate enough to attend Scranton, I always say they were the best and worst four years of my life. Let me explain: Scranton is that special place where I met so many wonderful lifelong friends, learned more about myself and the world around me, and also went through my share of struggles, pain, and obstacles. And that to me represents the impact one school had on so many of us.

Because of that, no singular memory stands out from the four years. How could it? Instead I think of snippets of small moments, vignettes that collectively comprised our college years. Walking the Z-bricked Commons, intense choir rehearsals in Houlihan-McLean, going to class or an Esprit meeting in CLP, power-napping on the Aquinas couch in Gunster (RIP), hanging lights for performances in the Royal Theater, standing shivering in the cold with dormmates during a fire drill outside Luzerne House, playing board games in Driscoll until all hours, coffeehouses in the lounge area of McCourt, watching the day roll by on Founders Green. These are snapshots, some varied versions of which other alumni probably have developed and tucked away in a mental photo album themselves.

That's what makes our Scranton stories similar yet unique. The U is that commonality we share, a sense of belonging to something greater than ourselves, that camaraderie whether we graduated five years ago or fifty years ago. And that is the most special gift it could ever have given any of us.