Happy 25 Years to the 1986 UVM Alumni!

Wow.  25 years has past since I graduated and left the comfort of The University of Vermont (UVM) and the often extraordinary fun that only college can provide.

Interestingly, before I stepped foot on campus in the summer of 1982, I had a great feeling about my upcoming college experience and overall, my 4 years lived up to my expectations. 

My late spring visit to UVM was to determine if I would accept their basketball scholarship offer.  

Fortunately, I stayed with freshman basketball player Bill Brown during my brief visit. He showed me a great time, introduced me to some nice people and took me downtown to get a taste of the nightlife UVM was known for.  In addition, he was honest about his short time with the team which I appreciated.  He’s been one of my dearest friends ever since.

After only a few days, I knew that this was the place for me.

Unfortunately, the basketball portion of my experience turned out to be a low point for me (and many others) although I always stayed positive and reminded myself that I was enjoying college for free – a rare luxury.

During my senior year, the basketball team accomplished something courageous and important – a feat that paved the way for our great basketball success in the past 15 years. That makes me proud.  A book on the team and what occurred will be written in the future.

On my weekly blog, I’ve yet to write fully about my collegiate years as I want to dedicate the proper time and effort in order to capture the essence of my experience. I plan to put pen to paper on UVM in the coming year.

Since Michael Jackson was a big part of college (“Thriller” came out in my first year),  I touched briefly on UVM in my article “My 3 Favorite Mike’s”. Below is a passage and the link:

First, imagine this scene:

It's my freshman year in college as a Division 1 basketball student-athlete. I have a free education due to a 4 year scholarship. One weekend I go out with some friends to the local disco in town. Pretty young ladies are everywhere and I am on the dance floor rocking the night away with one of them. The tune playing is Michael Jackson's Billie Jean. At that moment, I felt like I was floating on a cloud! I said to myself, "Ah,......this is the GOOD LIFE". I knew that the night, the rest of year and my final three years would be something special. And were they ever - I soaked up college like a sponge and enjoyed moments that were absolutely delicious.
Micheal Jackson started it off for me that weekend and his music was ubiquitous during my four years as I vividly remember dancing at parties to "ABC" or other great Jackson 5/Michael tunes. In college, I don't recall an event or party that didn't feature at least one Jackson song.

Today,  I only want to say THANK YOU to all those people who shared those magical moments with me and made most interactions warmly entertaining and/or interesting.  Whether it was time spent with a senior in 1982 or a freshman in 1985 or those in between, the memories are fond ones.

To the 1986 Alumni, I know that many of you were able to go back to campus this weekend (25 year reunion) to share memories and enjoy the beauty of our picturesque university.  If not, my hope is that you took a few moments to reminisce about our exciting years from 1982 to 1986.

In my frequent conversations over the years with a variety of alumni (older and younger), only one person expressed unhappiness about UVM. She stayed less than a year at Vermont although I wish she had stayed longer.

Every other person (some graduated in the 50’s) spoke glowingly about their time at UVM which speaks volumes about our university.  It was rare not to see a big smile on someone’s face as we talked.

I’m grateful for the privilege.

Happy Gswede Sunday!

Gswede and UVM graduate Jeannie (Picture by Bill Brown)

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