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COLUMN: There are a lot of people to recognize behind one graduate

By Parker Cotton
On May 10, 2013

A science teacher I had in seventh grade once told me that as I get older, the school years will seemingly go by faster than the previous one. Those words have resonated with me every May since then, but none more so than this year.

My senior year was the most enjoyable and without a doubt the fastest academic year of my life.

I intended on writing this column as a way of expressing how much I love this university and the jobs Iʼve had at this newspaper over the last four years, but first I want to thank the people who helped get me this far.

To Kelly Scott and Diane Schott, thank you for amazing classes my freshman year about what would eventually become my two majors. To Teresa Sellmer, thank you for making me a better and more confident writer, and thank you for always being a professor I could come talk to, even if I was three years removed from your class.

To Lynn Klyde-Silverstein, thank you for helping me become the best journalist I can be and for always making sure I did not slack off. To Dr. E, thank you for putting up with me for all the times I bothered you in your office just to talk.

Thanks to Josh Packard for putting up with me, as well. I know it wasnʼt easy all the time, but I think we made it an enjoyable first year for you here at UNC. Iʼm thankful I got to learn so much from you in our sociology courses over the past year.

And thank you to Angie Henderson for all of your guidance in helping me become a sociology major in the first place and then an accepted applicant to UNCʼs sociology graduate program. I was made a better sociologist because of you, and I canʼt thank you enough for that.

I also need to recognize Kurt Hinkle, my boss at The Mirror, for being a great friend and my biggest critic, both roles meant so much to me. Lastly, Iʼd be lost without my sister Emily and my parents for always being my biggest fans.

My grandpa John and my great uncle Jimmy made it financially possible for me to attend college and live comfortably, and their assistance has been one of the greatest blessings of my life.

I probably didnʼt say how much I appreciated you all for always being there for me, even when youʼre hundreds of miles away, but Iʼm saying it now. Thank you so much for everything that you do, because without it I wouldnʼt have enjoyed my time in college as much as I did. I love you all.

I now return to my regularly scheduled column.

This university has been great to me. I never imagined I would learn so much, academically and about myself, in these four years. Coming to the University of Northern Colorado was the greatest decision of my life.

Iʼve gotten to work with and live with some of my absolute best friends in the world, and I wouldnʼt trade those experiences for anything. Iʼm so grateful for all of the wonderful friends and professors Iʼve met here, and I canʼt express how much of a better person I am for having met them.

Itʼs really eye-opening for me to think that four years ago I was just starting here at The Mirror and at UNC, and now my undergraduate career is over.

Iʼve had the time of my life writing about UNCʼs athletes and coaches and having great friends by my side as I did so. Those experiences are irreplaceable, and Iʼll always cherish them.

Itʼs time for a new beginning, though, and I know my future will be brighter because of my decision
to become a Bear. I grew up and learned so much about myself at UNC, in Harrison Hall and at the corner of 10th Ave. and Cranford Place.

For all members of my aforementioned support group, I hope I made you all proud. And I cannot wait to show what I still have left.

Parker Cotton is a former sports writer, sports editor and Editor-in-chief of The Mirror. He is graduating with a degree in sociology with a social issues emphasis and with a degree in journalism and mass communication with an emphasis in news-editorial. He will be attending UNCʼs sociology graduate program in the fall.

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