Hail dear old state fight for that victory today. Hit that line and tote that ball, cross the goal before you fall. And then we'll yell, yell, yell, yell, for dear old state we'll yell like H-E-L-L! Fight for Mississippi State, win the game today! Go State!
MSU was a place where I bonded with my family over football tailgating, basketball victories, bowl game trips, and baseball afternoons. I have watched seasons of football where we could barely come out with a win. I have seen years where our basketball team could hardly be stopped. I have sat through pouring rain just to watch us lose the Egg Bowl. I have seen us keep that golden Egg only a week before I found out that I had cancer.
The funny part about this story is that I am not a MSU graduate. I have never taken a class on campus. I could not tell you where to go if you were a freshman and needed to know where all the chemistry classes were. But part of that will change Saturday. I started taking online classes for a Masters in Business in the summer of 2011. Now in Spring of 2014 I will graduate from the Distance MBA program at MSU with a 4.0 GPA. I took my capstone class through the midst of chemotherapy treatment. I cannot tell you how happy I am that this is finally happening. I am going to sit at graduation just like the rest of the graduates that actually took classes on campus, but I promise you, I will love that moment more.
A few things that I have learned besides finance, management, and marketing from MSU:
1. The rules of football, basketball, and baseball. Taught by: Joel Yelverton - my dad. Lessons were learned in the stands or at home watching away games. He taught me how to look beyond the game and see the intricacies of each sport, developing in me a true love of the game.
2. How to show great sportsmanship. Taught by: Cheryl Yelverton - my mom. Lessons were learned while watching my mom take wins with respect and loses with equal dignity. She has never yelled at an opposing fan and when those Arkansas fans pig sooey in her face, she just walks on by. That is a good fan. She congratulates the winners and does not flaunt the victories.
4. How to keep calm in the midst of a highly intense game. Taught by: Griffin Sullivan - my brother. Lessons were learned during overtime periods. Griffin joined our family in 2012 when he married my sister Becca. The Yelvertons are not known for watching a MSU sporting even quietly. Griffin joined our family and showed us how to remain calm, even when yelling at the television, field, Blue, etc. seems like the only answer.
5. That MSU is more than sports, it's family. Taught by: Becca Yelverton - my sister. Lessons were learned watching my sister interact with her friends made during her years at MSU. Becca graduated from MSU in 2012, but the friends and connections she made there are still going on today. It was through her college experience that I saw MSU as a place where students grow not only in academics, but also in connecting with the people around you.
"Education is not about obscure facts and little test scores. Education is about the overall effect of years of slow absorption of concepts, philosophies, and approaches to problem solving. The whole process is so grand, all encompassing that it really can't be threatened by the occasional late night no-hitter." - George Feeny
So go out there and enjoy life. Have fun. And also learn a little bit too.
Journey Strong and Hail State!