Let me say at the outset that I am thrilled at the success NDSU’s football program has enjoyed in recent years. The Bison are number one – squared. And frankly, the odds are quite good that their number one status may be cubed by season’s end. This is exciting stuff this championship team status! The university has enjoyed a lot of positive limelight as a result of the success of the football team.
But I would like to remind you of another award-winning team at NDSU – the team that gets a lot less fanfare – the faculty and staff that has worked tirelessly to create a top-notch educational, research, and service-oriented institution. This team helps create bright futures for students, researches pressing issues in their fields, contributes to the knowledge within their disciplines, and assists with community needs and ventures. This team is the backbone of the day-to-day operations of NDSU and I am here to tell you they too are winners. Indeed, if you were to spend time talking with some of the folks at NDSU who are quietly laboring away – often with no hoopla and little recognition – I know you would be amazed at the things they have done, are doing, and plan to do.
But they have no jerseys, no stadium, no massive fan base, no chance to win a national athletic title…the types of things they hope for are being awarded a large grant, making a scientific discovery, being recognized by their peers for achievements, writing a book, or speaking at a major conference. Some of these activities are the equivalent of their championship games – their catch of a Hail Mary pass in the end zone for the winning touchdown. Yet, they will never hear the deafening roar of a crowd for the excellence they display…their excellence is too often overlooked by the masses.
Sports seasons come and go. At the end of the day, whether our college athletes win or lose a competition, the ultimate education goal of the university is to produce folks who win in life. NDSU currently has over 14,000 students who are counting on the strength of the university’s other team. So let’s hear it folks for that team. They are the ones creating the infrastructure that allows for NDSU to be the university it is, and I am here to tell you that team is comprised of an amazing collection of dedicated professionals. They too should receive the thundering applause of The Herd every once in awhile.
Day one thousand five hundred and forty-three of the new forty – obla di obla da