When’s the last time you pulled your ‘fun-muscles?’

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]

Gustavus Alumni Choir, balcony of Christ Chapel

I’m glad it’s Tuesday morning.  Seriously, there’s a couple thousand proud Gustavus Adolphus College people — from California all the way to Georgia — who are just starting to feel back to normal after some strenuous fun-muscle exercising. Thank heavens we don’t party like that every weekend!

Proud Gusties gathered to celebrate the Sesquicentennial of our Alma Mater with vigorous back-slapping, hand-shaking, smile-spreading, hymn-singing, flash-mobbing, joy-jumping, bear-hugging and hand shake collecting.  (There might have been some beer-drinking as well).

What a joy to see us all grown up: Teachers, Doctors, Lawyers, Homemakers, Entrepreneurs; Democrats, Republicans; Gay & Straight — all linked by the values of community, excellence, faith, justice and service.

A sesquicentennial only comes around once every 150 years. We’re talking serious nostalgia…and future gazing. Life-mentors Warren and Donna Beck gave $16M to for a new academic building — now that’s what I’m talking about!

My little Batz clan from Bloomington, Minnesota, was far too involved.  Melinda was the class agent for her 25th reunion.  I signed up as a Captain to help raise $150M for Campaign Gustavus.  Daughter Katie is now a Junior, and Co-President of the Campus Activities Board…her presence was impossible to ignore as we collided with “campus activities” at every turn.  Her big brother Ben is a Senior now, and was on the Homecoming Court.  With Mom and Dad peeking around the corner, his peers crowned him Homecoming King.   Our pride muscles are still swollen and aching from over-use.

[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]

Ben Batz as Gustavus Homecoming King, 2011

But the mountain top experience for me left my buddies who were collegiate athletes aching with envy.  When the Baseball team gets together for a reunion, they can only replay the magic of their glory days in their minds. It’s inevitable that someone will actually get hurt replaying a head-first game-winning home plate slide.  (The beer helps.)  However…when you sing in the Choir — you can actual recreate the glory days!

In one simple swoosh of the baton, the conductor unleashed 150 years of history that just had to be set free.  The Christ Chapel balcony was bursting with nearly 200 Gustavus Choir Aumni singers, exercising hubris and bravado that simply isn’t common for Swedish Lutherans.  Garrison Keillor and F. Melius Christiansen would be so proud.

Dad stood with Ben at his side in the tenor section.  Katie stood next to Mom with the Altos.

Even if you’ve never sung in a choir, or don’t know anything about “Praise to the Lord” as an anthem, you just might be able to feel the goose bumps.  Third verse: as a hundred grown men grabed hold of the moment and sang in full voice:  “All that hath life and breath come now with praises before him!”…time stood still. A 150 year old tradition took notice.  Community, excellence, faith, justice and service.  Full body fun.

When was that last time you seriously pulled your ‘fun-muscles?'[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

1 Comment

  1. […] Don’t miss this interesting, passionate, and tug-at-you-heartstrings blog post written by Paul Batz ’85 (co-founder of What Really Works) all about Gustavus and Homecoming! Here is a little piece of the blog. Read the whole article at http://www.paulbatz.com. […]



Leave a Comment