Pitt happens…then someone called my Bluff.
How I ended up at Duquesne from my Dad’s single question.
The further I get from the winter of 1988–89, the less I remember. My Dad’s memory was that of a steel trap, things come in and never go out. Well, he’s not here so I can’t ask him about any details from our campus visits to Pitt and Duquesne.
When it came to applying to colleges, I know I wanted to get as far away from home as possible. I had many schools in mind, primarily in the South. Unfortunately, those applications (Wake Forest, Clemson, Georgia Tech to name a few) sat at the bottom of my locker and never made it out.
One of the few things I remember about this process was the physical pain my hand endured when completing the application. There was no internet back then and my Dad’s Smith Corona wasn’t the best choice when it came to correcting mistakes. I wasn’t going to mail an application with 6 lbs of White Out caked all over it. So therefore I had no choice but to handwrite everything. Was it a case of laziness? Absolutely. I have always been about efficiency. If there is no internet today, I’m curious to see what the average number of schools a student applies to is.
I started out somewhat close by applying to Temple, Pitt, and Duquesne. And that is where it had stopped.
Temple was a 2-hour drive from home and I thought that was too close to home. I didn’t even visit Temple. My Dad and I decided to visit Pitt. Leaving I had already made up my mind that I was going to be there in the fall. Duquesne, along with Temple was there for safety. I had told my teachers and coaches that I was going to Pitt.
My first view of the city was coming out of the Fort Pitt tunnel. I was in awe. I thought to myself, “This is going to be home for 4 years! I can’t wait.” I don't remember much about the tour in Oakland. I remember going into a few buildings and their classrooms, the Cathedral of Learning, and the Towers which is where the tour concluded.
The reason I didn’t remember much was because I was in amazement. This campus was a small city with girls everywhere. I was already picturing life in September. As I mentioned before, the tour ended at the Towers and I was ready for September. Where do we fill out the papers?!?!
The tour guide then asks, “Does anyone have any questions?” I didn’t have any. I was all set to attend. My Dad did have one question. (INSERT LAW & ORDER CHIME). I’ll never forget this for as long as I live: “So what happens if your kid doesn’t get a dorm room in the lottery?” Incoming freshmen back in 1989 had to enter a lottery. If your name is picked, you get a room in the Towers. If not, they had to get an apartment off-campus. All of a sudden, what was a bright and sunny day turned out to be cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms. I immediately told my Dad that I did not want to live off-campus. I didn’t care if the Ritz Carlton was there, I wanted to be where all the action was.
Without hesitation, I told my Dad, “Let’s go see Duquesne.”
The rest is history. Duquesne was 100% guaranteed freshmen housing.
1 college roommate.
An unfathomable amount of memories.
Numerous life-long friends.