I had some time on Saturday afternoon to stroll around my old stomping grounds at Rollins College. My years there were some of the best of my life and it was a real treat to see the school after having been gone for so long.
I helped plant this Longleaf Pine tree on Rollins College campus on Arbor Day one year. I forget exactly which year it was, but seeing as I graduated five years ago, it has been in the ground for some time now.
These words, LIFE IS FOR SERVICE, have inspired generations of Rollins students. Mr. Rogers, Rollins' most famous graduate, was said to have had a framed picture of this plaque on his office desk for decades. During my time at Rollins, in class after class, professor after professor extolled the virtues of public service, not necessarily religious service. This simple phrase continues to guide my adult life and I, picture or no picture, will carry it with me always.
Some of you younger people on Saipan may have seen the movie Sydney White starring Amanda Bynes. The movie was filmed at Rollins. My favorite scene in the movie comes at the end where Sydney is supposed to be giving a student council campaign speech but is asleep in the library where no one can find her. Everyone is waiting for her out on Mills Lawn, our center of campus, right in front of the library. Now Rollins does not have a very big campus and in real life, Sydney could have seen the Mills Lawn from the library window she was sleeping next to, but I guess that wouldn't have made for a very dramatic situation. Whatever.
Uh wait, did I just admit to seeing an Amanda Bynes movie? I take everything I just wrote back.
Rollins College has been accused up being a posh college. It's not like our library has a coffee shop. Oh, wait. Yeah, it does.
I made a short visit to the building where I took most of my classes, the Environmental Studies Building. That's a native garden out front. It was planted by the Senior class that graduated the year before me.
I was the co-MVP my senior year, evidenced by this plaque that will hang on the wall of the Environemtal Studies building for all time.
I left my mark in another way by giving one of my professors a Marianas Trench Marine National Monument poster. He hung it in the hallway. There it will hang...until someone takes it down.
This is the small courtyard in front of our student center and cafeteria. When I was a member of the Eco-Rollins Club we did all of our outreach activities and Earth Day celebrations here. A couple of times I parked my 2002 Honda Civic Hybrid on the sidewalk for the rest of the college to see.
This is the pavilion where we launched the Environmental Victory Project in 2004. I gave my first speech in public at the event and even made it on the six o'clock news. That was the beginning of my enviro-political career.
Somethings at Rollins never change. School doesn't start until next week and it is only the second week of January, yet the girls are already out by the lake in their bikinis. Man, I loved going to school here.