Strengthening the Bond of Maverick Pride

Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

Aerial view of the Minnesota State Mankato campus featuring the iconic courtyard bell tower.
A heightened perspective of the college campus experience may be a positive outcome of Pandemic 2020.

Posted May 7, 2020


by LENNY KOUPAL, CSU Communications Coordinator

It might be remembered as the Semester That Could Have Been.

Or, might it be remembered as the Semester That Re-Energized College Life?

Of course, there was so much to look forward to at Minnesota State University, Mankato after Spring Break – a planned nationally-known guest speaker, Kato Ninja Warrior competition, the annual International Festival and the University’s first-ever TedX MNSU talks.

Cancellations swallowed Greek Week, Stomper’s Cinema, a host of activities and cultural events, year-end academic and co-curricular showcases, athletic competitions and so much more.

Then there’s the anticipated outdoor awakening of campus when Spring Fever fights for attention as Finals Week draws focus.

And lastly – and most importantly for many students – commencement. That “walk” celebrating a life’s work. That earned opportunity to cross that stage, shake hands with the president and receive that certificate of achievement.

The monstrous threat of a tiny virus changed all that.

Sadly, we all know that there is no zoom gathering, no virtual classroom, no video, no distant acknowledgement that replaces the actual face-to-face social experience of a college campus.

Whether introverts or extroverts, we are creatures of society. We yearn for interaction. What we are experiencing right now is so unfamiliar.

But as the ol’ saying goes, “This, too, shall pass.”

And what we learned – that we weren’t expecting – is that the campus experience is the precious leveling of the playing field.

Regardless of our backgrounds, our socioeconomic standings, or our basic personalities, a college campus strives to create a backdrop for personal growth and discoveries, academic achievement, career success and building relations – perhaps even lifelong friendships and commitments.

‘Now and forever you are Mavericks shaped by a common bond of a shared college experience.’

For those graduating, Spring 2020 is bittersweet. By cherishing those college memories and experiences, the sweetness will endure.

To all our graduates, we stand together and applaud your earned achievement as we envision the commencement that could have been. Nothing can take away that pride. May you take the well-deserved time to bask in the commitment and courage it took to get to this momentous time. Etch the memories, absorb the accolades and fondly embrace the YOU that you’ve become.

For those coming back, Maverick Spirit will be overflowing. For there’s another saying, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”

Perchance the new normal will strengthen the bond of college friendships. Classrooms will be revitalized as gatherings for pursuing academic excellence. Events will be welcomed with renewed eagerness. We will cherish the magic of the college campus experience.

And know – whether graduating or returning – that now and forever you are Mavericks shaped by a common bond of a shared college experience. That bond of Maverick Pride can’t be unraveled.


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