To whom it may concern:
My name is Stephen Winchell, and I’m an alumnus of the University of Connecticut (CLAS ‘08). I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome everyone back to UConn.
A new year is a time of reflection for all of us: a chance to examine our lives and decide how to shape our future. It is an especially sacred time on campus — it may not feel like it now, but you only have so many new years at Storrs. Because these special days won’t last forever, I encourage you all to make some UConn Resolutions. And as an alumnus with a soft spot in my heart for this school, I have some gentle suggestions. Take ‘em or leave ‘em.
First, focus on your studies. Life outside of school offers precious little time to learn. Something is always getting in the way: work, money, commitments, etc. It’s a real blessing to be somewhere that’s dedicated solely to education. I know, focusing on classes seems like a drab resolution. But one day you’ll find yourself stuck in traffic on your way to the office and you’ll realize that it’s been months since you learned something new! Believe me, it’s not a good feeling. So please, take this semester and absorb every bit of information you can.
Second — and I can’t stress this enough — there is no place like Storrs. Resolve this year to explore as much of this fine community as you can. Wander the hallways of departments beyond your major. Discover the fascinating history of this campus. Fall in love with a painting at the Benton, feel the electricity of a home game in Gampel, savor that perfect moment at the top of Horsebarn Hill. The world is full of incredible places. I had to graduate in order to realize that UConn — this campus — is one of them.
Lastly, enjoy yourself. You’re a Husky. This is your time, your place. Relish this experience. Celebrate UConn, whatever it means to you.
Thank you for giving this old alumnus a chance to offer some small pearls of wisdom. And if you’ll allow me, I have one more before I go: West is the greatest place on campus, and Towers is a national embarrassment that deserves to be tossed into the world’s ugliest dumpster where it belongs.
West is Best,