Exploring and Encouraging a Healthy Life Marked with Joy

Walking in Beauty

I spent my undergraduate years basking in the incredible natural and manmade beauty of Berry College  in Rome, Georgia.  I will never forget the JOY of studying on the world’s largest campus, surrounded by sites so breathtaking that occasionally, even as a green freshman, I would stop in my tracks on a journey across campus and stare, openmouthed, at the afternoon light shimmering off of Swan Lake or, on a cold February morning, gaze entranced out my Dana Hall second-floor, frosted dorm window into the ordered courtyard below and smile as deer delicately ate holly leaves and startling red berries in the snow.  I can still hear my young footfalls on the ancient wooden floors of Berry’s gorgeous chapel (modeled after Christ Church in Alexandria Virginia).  And here’s where I ate my meals, the Ford Dining Hall:

What fond and HAPPY Berry memories I have.  Oh my gosh, that place was magical!

So, of course, I never thought that another school could compare with Berry.

But for the past twenty-four years, I have taught English at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro.  When I first arrived, my limited vision focused, uncomfortably, on sand, 100 degree summers and beyond-belief pesky gnats.  (Why is that “g” there?  Why are gnats ANYWHERE?) “Who could live in this desolate place?” I wondered.  But slowly the tall pines and the amazing spring azaleas and (inexplicably) even the hot, humid summers wooed me, and I gradually fell in love.  As I adored beautiful Berry as a student, I came to cherish GSU as a professor.  The school and the land have been so very good to me.

I have watched GSU’s campus grow and develop into an enclave of living beauty.  But far too often, in my busy business of teaching and grading and conferencing, I would forget what thrived outside my office window.  So recently I decided to take a leisurely walk across my campus home.  Come with me.

Let’s begin at the Akins Blvd. entrance off Veterans Parkway:

The RAC (Recreational Activity Center) where I spent many an hour trying to hold back the belly bulge.

Let’s ride over to the two eagle statues.

Now let’s climb a tree.

Look, I’m an Olympic hero.

Did you know that the “S” in GSU also stands for my last name, Saye?

When I sit down and think about it, I realize how much I have loved this school and this beautiful land.

Georgia Southern University has allowed me to enjoy a great career of helping young people progress and mature into their greater lives.  I’ve been involved in a wondrous building process!

I’m so happy that both Berry and Georgia Southern are part of who I am.

Comments on: "Walking in Beauty" (2)

  1. Neal, I love this tour of GSU! Thanks for sharing. I couldn’t hear you on the videos even with my sound turned up all the way. Beautiful campus! ~Jamie

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