As I’ve said many times before and will say many times again, the long version of the word “fan” is “fanatic.” Sometimes it’s easy to get swept up by that fanaticism. Get a little too angry at one game or another. Let a player’s shooting percentage make or break your day. That kind of thing. The approaching City Game really gets the juices flowing in that way, and it’d be easy to be pushed a little too high or too low depending on the result.
But today gives us the opportunity to step back and reflect on the things that make us thankful. Fanaticism should never get in the way of that. Here are some of the Duquesne-related things that make ME thankful.
That I had the opportunity to go to Duquesne.
Every memory that I have of my time at Duquesne is a fond one. I made so many great and lifelong friends there – like my wife, one of my groomsman, two of her bridesmaids – that are truly more like family than friends.
I had wonderful teachers in all of my classes from the super experienced like retired history department chair Dr. Jean Hunter to the famous like trumpet player Sean Jones to the young, like my philosophy core teacher Pat MacFarlane, who was “just” a grad student and was still one of the best.
Our Duquesne degrees keep getting better year after year as the university climbs up the US News rankings after breaking into the top tier several years ago.
That our spirit gear rocks.
Seriously, go to the bookstore next time you’re on campus. The graphic design of Duquesne gear is tops. Yeah, we have some of the same generic shirts that every college has – an arched “DUQUESNE” in a block font, for example – but there’s a lot of different stuff too.
That our colors are red and blue.
Red and blue just go together really well. I don’t think there’s a lot else that needs to be said about that. Actually, I’m not certain where I read this, and perhaps someone can confirm, but I believe the colors are technically scarlet and navy. Anyone have knowledge here?
That the campus is gorgeous.
Duquesne has got to be one of the most beautiful campuses located so close to a city’s central business district. We could be disjunct and in random buildings like Point Park. We could be divided up by steep hills and random businesses like Pitt. But we’re not. Duquesne is self-contained and if you blocked out the buildings you’d never know that you were in the middle of a busy city.
That our school songs, even the obscure ones, are pretty awesome.
I don’t just mean the victory song – though it’s really good – but also obscure ones like The Dukes of Duquesne and The Duquesne Pep Song. I’d love to put those together and hear the pep band play THAT. Seriously, they’re very good – especially The Dukes of Duquesne, which contains one of my favorite lines in any Duquesne song:
“Onward forever, the Dukes are coming through, for the fame of the red and the blue.”
This song is also cool because it’s technically a drinking song.
Though I’d be a little more thankful if people other than the cheerleaders would do the “fight fight fight” in the middle of the Victory Song.
Finally, and I know that I’m probably in the minority here, but I know all of the words to the Alma Mater. It’s a beautiful song and I must admit that I got a little choked up when it was sung at our graduation mass for my last time as a student. I fear that it will slowly disappear, as it wasn’t often performed by anyone other than the old marching band.
That we have so many great people representing us as a university.
Of course I’m referring partly to athletes here, especially with some of the performances this fall. And of course famous alums like the Rooneys. But I am mostly referring to the people young and old who see my Duquesne ring and immediately approach me to share their own ring and their own stories of times on campus. This happens constantly. Two years ago on a cold winter day, I was pumping gas at a turnpike rest stop and the guy one pump over noticed my ring, held up his own and said “Class of ’68. You?”
Seriously – some of the friendliest people in the world are Duquesne alums.
Please – share your own thoughts with us. And have a peaceful Thanksgiving, hopefully surrounded by family and friends.
“Onward, ever, dear Alma Mater. All hail to thee, Duquesne!”