Ode to Life, Learning, and Service – the Creightonian
It was a day in late August…much like today. A day like any other…full of promise and full of toil. The sun was shining…it was a warm and bright. On the surface of things an ordinary day. Who could have known, who could have forseen, that THIS day was different – that it was a Sentinel day.
Late summer, warm and bright. The expectations, in 1975, were of the impending football season, of the coming autumn days – resplendent with the bright fall foliage, candied apples, pumpkins, and Red – everywhere. After all, Jim was in Nebraska. Who could have imagined, could have intuited, that this young man would embark on the journey of his lifetime?
There are always turning points, tipping points, along the Way of our lives. Many times we are so engrossed in our work-a-day activities that we hardly notice, if at all, the opportunities and pitfalls along the way. So entranced with our mundane routines, our courses of habit, our engrained, hipnotic, obedience to our social programming, we are often scarcely aware of the passing days – let alone the significance of one mere day. But there I was, having been back in Omaha for only six months, recently returned from serving in Uncle Sweets Navy, on the verge of enrolling into college.
The choice was between “West Dodge HS” a.k.a. as Omaha University, the local everymans’ school and the Rich Kids school – Creighton. As a Technical HS student I had often passed by and through the Creighton campus, to catch a bus to the Crossroads Shopping Center or to Aksarben, enroute to my part-time job at the Holiday Inn on 72nd & Grover. I rarely gave the school a thought as I passed the old football stadium wall along Burt St. I didn’t have a clue as to what transpired in the buildings on campus, although I would occasionally stop for bus change at the little ‘greasy spoon’ diner across 24th St from the main entrance. It was a different world…a foreign country within the confines of North Omaha…alien territory. As a local kid from North O, I never entertained curiousity about Creighton, such a place was not on the menu for me…places like CU were out of range of both my vision and my pocket.
It is funny how things can change. How providence (or God – depending on your perspective) can find you – no matter where you hide. Thanks to the military I soon found I now had options which were previously nonexistent. I had choices. Thanks to Uncle Sweets’ GI Bill, I was suddenly upwardly mobile. So it was that on this day, in late August of 1975, ol’ Doc found himself in the Frosh line, registering as an incoming student at Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska. Enrolling in college at the ripe old age of 24. This was the day that Jim became a Creightonian – a Bluejay! My life would never be the same. And I never looked back.
They say we are the Creighton Family. I am convinced that this is a true assessment of the case. We are a family. Like any family we have our strata, our categorizing of each other, our pecking order, but we also have a shared vision, shared goals, shared dreams. Like most families we have our disagreements, fights, and pet peeves; yet we also have times of playfulness, joy, and love. Like any family we have our triumphs and our failures, our victories and defeats, our hopes and our disappointments. Such is life. In the end…all we have is family, and God.
Once a Creightonian…Always a Creightonian. Once a Bluejay…Always a Bluejay!
And we Creightonians, like CU herself, are also much more than a summation of our parts. We have been sized & graduated by sifting, steeled by adversity, and refined by fire…so that we are prepared and qualified to work, to lead, to Serve.
May God bless and keep you – Creightonians All!