UVM - Still Exceeding Expectations (and the class of 89)

While meeting and bonding with 'University of Vermont' (UVM) alumni over the years, I've rarely heard any complaints about the experience at our alma mater, and most loved it like I did. I’ve known people who left UVM before graduating, although it was more about them than our school.

The memories came rushing back recently as the class of 1989 (freshmen when I was a senior) were preparing for their 25th reunion. If I was living in the USA, I would have been there October 10th weekend, as I was close to and/or had great times with many of them. They had a very fun class and brought lots of unexpected energy to my final year on campus.

This video (Classic UVM Montage) from the class of 1989 will give you a sense of their good times! I’m sure many of us would love to have a priceless memory like this one.

I followed the weekend on social media and the pictures shown put me back on our picturesque campus, if only in spirit. I was touched. When I asked a friend about her 25th reunion weekend, she wrote this:

Something so unique and special about that place and the people. Definitely exceeded my expectations. Everything flowed just like it use to.”

College should be one of the best times of your life and provide moments which are hard to equal in the real world. It was for me and many of my 1986 classmates. I still find myself randomly reminiscing about the abundance of great (and often glorious) moments at UVM.

Outside of my time on the basketball court as a student-athlete, there was rarely a dull moment, whether it was a private event, hanging out in downtown Burlington, a fraternity party, a random dorm gathering, the energy of a hockey game, the often bitter cold temperatures or simply vibing with someone before or after a class. Being an athlete gave me a unique and privileged view of a variety of experiences, which I appreciated and soaked in as much I could.

After graduation in 1986, I regularly went back to visit on weekends and usually took some friends (Boston, Pennsylvania or Manhattan) with me. I wanted them to have a taste of my university, which they enjoyed the first time, and all came back at least one more time. We sometimes combined Montreal, Canada (a first for many) for an extended weekend as it was only 90 minutes away. In addition, I helped the university with recruiting efforts while living in New York City. My last time in Vermont was in 2003 - a terrific weekend!

I'm grateful for the daily moments of fun, enthusiasm or sizzle at UVM, along with my 4 year basketball scholarship. I couldn't have written a better collegiate script, despite the "ok at best" basketball experience; a story for another day.

I’m feeling very inspired this October and have numerous alumni (especially the class of 89) to thank for that. Being far way in Sweden, I appreciated those who kept me in the loop about the weekend and shared photos.

When I was travelling to UVM, with my mom and dad, in the summer of 1982, I had positive feelings about the school and the journey to come. Like the aforementioned friend felt about her 25th year reunion, my 4 years at UVM “exceeded my expectations”. What more could anyone ask for?

Those early years of UVM bliss were special and continue to inspire me. My 30th year reunion is in 2016. I plan to be there so the good times can continue to roll.

Happy Gswede Sunday!

Despite our 4 "less than stellar" basketball years, I love my UVM Basketball Cats!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

As the VP for Alumni Relations at the best University in the world, it gave me chills to read your message. Thank you, George!

We look forward to seeing you at Reunion!

-- Alan Ryea
University of Vermont

George Payne said...

Hi Alan:

Appreciate the nice comment.

It's not easy to put a blissful experience into words.

Glad you liked it!

George