A Great Day to be a General

by

By: Austin Calhoun ’03
Guest Blogger

My senior year at W&L, I think it is fair to say, I lived in the Warner Center. You could find me in the weight room, in the training room, missing (practicing?) layups in Doremus, or distracting the sports information staff. Even at lunchtime or during a break in classes, I’d be sitting on the concrete steps by the loading dock soaking up some spring term sunshine.

Fast forward a few years later, after a year of working in sports information at University of Delaware and getting my master’s at University of Miami (FL), I returned to Lexington and not much changed – at least in terms of my time spent in and around the gym. As an assistant SID, again, I think it is fair to say I lived at the Warner Center. And at Watt Field. And at Cap’n Dick Smith Field. And in the third seat on the right side of an Abbott Trailways bus heading to an ODAC school.

Now, I live 1,129 miles from the Warner Center, getting my PhD in sport sociology at the University of Minnesota. Despite being so far away, a huge piece of my heart lives on the corner of Washington and Nelson. Being a part of the Washington and Lee athletic department family as a player and a staff member remains one of the most meaningful experiences of my life, and it is hard for me to be so far away from a place that holds so many memories.

On days when it is hard, when it is negative 10 degrees here in MN, when I actually miss running wind sprints and writing game notes, all I have to do is reach into my closet, pull on a blue issued sweatshirt (sorry, Eddie, I couldn’t help myself!) or a Generals’ Basketball shirt. Just the simple act of wearing royal blue or seeing the trident makes me feel a little closer to Lexington and my W&L family.

I know I am not the only alum or former staff member who feels this way. There are tons of us, who live far, far from the Shenandoah Valley, who also bleed blue and have fond memories of their time in Lexington. I think in many ways that is what is so special about the W&L experience. Whether you were lucky enough to coach, play or work here, you know that it’s (every day is!) a great day to be a General.

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