April 15, 2024

Roses are red. Violets are blue. I just streaked the Hollow. Someone stole my shoe.

My dearest Wittenberg,

From the first moment I locked eyes with Wally Witt, that wholesome and completely untainted statue, I never imagined the journeys I would embark upon with you. You have given me endless stories to tell and adventures to take. Although sometimes you hurt me–for example, when the bill came after I had just been paid, and now I can only afford generic Fruit Loops, otherwise known as Fruity Rings–you have given me so much more to love.

For the cost of only $38,000 a year, can I complain?


But still, you have given me so much to adore, so much to cherish. Each day I grow more fond of you. Even as I sit in the library the week of finals and contemplate the merit of my entire existence, at the end of the day it is still you, and only you. My dear Wittenberg, I haven’t the faintest clue what life after graduation may bring, but I do know this: I have a Valentine to offer you today, and to all that is wonderful about Wittenberg:

to the professor that granted me the extension the night before the paper was due,

to the waffle President Michael Frandsen made me at midnight breakfast,

to the morning after Wittfest where not a soul could be found on campus before 1 p.m.,

to the HPER treadmills I told myself freshman year I would use every week and have yet to visit,

to the Saturday night I met new friends and had an unforgettable adventure,

to the Saturday night I stayed in my room and watched Netflix,

to the tour day where I thought the CDR and college cafeterias were incredible,

to the words, “Let’s go to Young’s,”

to my first Schuller’s Doughnut,

to the ghost horse that haunts the fifth floor of Myers, that must be real, because how else can you possibly explain the knocking that happens inside those walls?,

to the professor that brought in baked goods that morning I didn’t have time to eat breakfast,

to the 4Paws dog that got me through a long day,

to the faculty that care, that truly care,

to the dorm with no air conditioning and tilting floors and caving ceilings,

to the hill that takes what feels like five years to climb, the hill that I keep thinking will get easier with time, but it never does–

Even just thinking about it makes me out of breath.–

to the group project where it wasn’t so much of a group as it was a herd of five kids with one leader who did all the work,

to the hot days in August on the Weaver Chapel pews,

to the tattoo I almost talked myself into one Friday night,

to the tattoo I did talk myself into one Friday night,

and to the seal I will one day stomp, I cannot begin to express my gratitude. I am writing this love letter to everything about the Wittenberg community.

Except the guy who pees on the elevators in Tower. You don’t get a Valentine.

But to everything else, I give my adoration. You have pushed me to accomplish more than I ever thought I could. And can you really put a price on that?

Yes, you can. $38,000.

Even so, because of you I have learned what it means to thrive and struggle and face fear and fail. To an education that stretches far beyond any classroom, to an experience no one can ever truly understand unless they are a part of it, I say thank you. And as I stand in the Hollow in these next few weeks–fully clothed, of course, as everyone always is in the Hollow–I will remember what it is to be a Tiger, and I adore the thought.

With Endless Adoration,

Your Secret Admirer


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