The CSC experience has a way of drawing people together. It burrows under your skin and refuses to let go, burrowing deeper still with each passing semester. Once it completes its journey, it encircles your heart in a death grip that cannot be disengaged, no matter how strenuous your effort. Yes, that’s right. Once that happens you’re hooked for life. There’s no use fighting it.
It hooked me deeply and permanently soon after my arrival at “The Rock” for freshman orientation. The surroundings were perfect: Lush, green Vermont mountains that burned with the fire of foliage in autumn, then softened to the pale blues and grays of winter, only to be transformed once again to the rich and vibrant lushness that spring ushers in.
This is the Castleton I came to in the fall of 1981 and this is the Castleton I still know and love to this day.
I had just come off a one-year international tour with ‘Up With People’
that was truly unforgettable. I had thought that year would be the highlight of my life and could never be eclipsed. After all, my cast had performed for the King of Sweden, the Prime Minister of Ireland, and had toured and performed with the Belgian National Symphony in honor of that country’s 350th anniversary.
We would have performed at the 1980 Moscow Olympics had the United States not boycotted the games that year. What could possibly improve on that? In short: Castleton State College.
My first two years were spent feeling my collegiate oats, so to speak. The newfound freedom from a tour where every minute of every day was planned for you was exhilarating. I didn’t have to worry about what time I returned from an all-night work session in the theatre, that is unless there was homework still to be done for class the next day.
It was exceptionally easy to make friends on campus and many of them I still hold dear to this day. I somehow managed to fit in two years of playing baseball for a coach I deeply respected both as a coach and as a friend. I sincerely hope the CSC community recognizes just how special Jim Thieser truly was and how much he did for the school. I’ll miss you coach.
The next two years were spent as a resident assistant, first in Wheeler Hall, then in Ellis Hall. Looking back, I am still amazed at how quickly my junior and senior years passed by. In 1985 I was deeply honored to be one of the inaugural recipients of the Abel E Leavenworth Leadership Award.
I never considered myself to be of the leadership type and there were certainly more qualified students on campus for this honor, at least from my point of view.
Castleton will always hold a special place in my heart for a number of reasons: First, I applied for admission without seeing the campus first, and have never once regretted it. Second, I met my wife there. We were married in the Old Chapel and had our reception in Huden Dining Hall. Third, I met some of my closest, dearest friends there. We are still constantly in touch and get together regularly. Four, where else can a cleaning lady key into your room at 6:30 a.m. on Halloween morning wearing a clown costume and a smile?
Thank you, Rose Harvey!