a great day to be a Hawkeye! A long time ago a gentleman named Frank
relayed a few thoughts to me when I first started my college career.
His thoughts were worthy enough for me to pass along to all of my
four Hawkeye students. And since this is my last column (heavens,
the applause was deafening!) and I choose not to squander this golden
opportunity, may I pass them along for the next generation?
opportunity of a college education has never been guaranteed by
state, family, or circumstance; it is a prized possession that should
never be taken for granted. Situations change and the occasion may
evaporate, so seizing the moment would be prudent. Kindly consider
Franks three principles:
study hard. Isnt that the essence of being a student? Hitting
the books is not a cliché but a fundamental concept that
is easily overlooked in the turmoil of campus life. Applying yourself
is not a sentence of doom, but a challenge, driven by love, for
you to blossom intellectually and emotionally. "In America,
and in every other country of the world, only the educated are free,"
Frank often said. Besides, students who study hard graduate with
strong grades, receive substantial and rewarding job offers, and
rarely end up having to say "Ya wanna super-size that order
for only 99 cents more?"
To complement rule No.1 and to be in total harmony with nature,
this postulate must be served! Whether it is sports, music, theater,
dancing, food, or yada, yada, yada, being enthusiastic and staying
up late is fundamental to student life. Active participation is
essential, urged Frank. Do not confuse this with "getting wasted,"
because binge drinking and illegal drug usage is a public declaration
of ineptness that can only lead to permanent scarring of yourself
and innocent bystanders. Good examples need to be set and followed.
Start with you.
Explore, explore, explore!
This campus is bursting with unlimited possibilities to create,
kindle, and satisfy your every curiosity. Have you ever caught yourself
gasping at the evening sky, overwhelmed about the relationship of
the stars, planets, and you? Have you ever envisioned yourself singing
or learning to play a musical instrument? Dared to participate in
a dance marathon? Ever dreamed about rowing down the Iowa River
in the morning mist, rock climbing in a rugged, challenging terrain,
or skiing in the beauty of freshly fallen snow? Have you wondered
about the culture and disciplines of the six billion other inhabitants
of Planet Earth, and what makes you unique? The Iowa course catalog
addresses these concepts and more with a multitude of opportunities,
and the campus and town support an incalculable number of clubs
and organizations awaiting your inquiry. There are instructors,
educators, and mentors everywhere willing to interact with you,
if you are willing to turn off your VCR and hold out your hand.
And the exhilarating feature of exploring is that there is never
any failureexcept if you dont try. "I will try
is an open gate; I wont is a stonewall," was the phrase
that Frank often quoted. So why not challenge your destiny and go
spite of acquiring only a tenth-grade education after immigrating
to America when he was 11 years old, Frank certainly seemed to know
what he was talking about. Small wonder I passed his wisdom on to
my students and am willing to share it with the next generation,
because it is a priceless and timeless message. I often fantasize
about what kind of a college student he would have been, how he
would have inhaled everything in and about this campus. His exploration
would have included astronomy, classic literature, and music, to
mention a few. He would have buried Professor Jay Holstein with
"Quest for a Human Destiny" questions and would have listened
intently to Mary Sue Coleman during her fireside chats. And I know
that he would have thrown marshmallows during football games, screamed
Iowa cheers, and saluted the Nile Kinnick name. Pity that he never
saw this campus because be would have been one bodacious Hawkeye!
But he certainly was grinning in heaven on his granddaughters
graduation days at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
thank you, University of Iowa, for allowing me the privilege of
serving on your Parents Board. How I got here is still a mystery
to me that might be explained in two wordsdivine intervention.
May this campus, staff, faculty, and student body enjoy continued
success. Best regards to the Parents Association for its foresight
and generous funding of many student projects, which have enabled
my siblings and future generations to expand and fully utilize their
college experience. A special thank you to university staff members
Jane Hoshi, Anne Tanner, and Vince Nelson for their kindness, patience,
and encouragement. I treasure their friendship. But most of all,
thank you, Iowa parents, for allowing me to share the saga of Frank
a great day to be a Hawkeye!" says Frank.
Pavlacic is a pharmacist from Peoria, Illinois. He and wife Rita
are the proud parents of three Hawkeye graduates and daughter Katie
is a junior.