In retrospect, this picture captured what was one of the most important days of my life: June 6, 1965.
Gasp! That’s more than half a century ago. I’m not certain who snapped the shutter, although I think it was my sister, Susan Vorland Hanson.
It was graduation day at the University of North Dakota. I’m with my parents Kermit and Minnie Vorland who lived until 1991, when death took them within two weeks of each other.
The summer I graduated from Harvey (N.D.) High school, Dad gave me the keys to my “college car,” a 14-year-old Chevrolet he had purchased from a friend.
He and mom didn’t see the UND campus until the day I graduated four years later.
Unlike now, when parents often visit their kids on campus, back then most did not, especially those who like mine did not attend college. Dad ended his education with the eighth grade, a decision his Norwegian immigrant father Hans told him he’d later regret.
That’s Budge Hall in the background, where I lived for all but one of my years at UND. It’s among the many vintage buildings demolished by the university, much to the consternation of old fart alums like me.
I went on that autumn to graduate school at Northwestern, assuming I would work as a journalist in New York or Chicago.
Instead, I eventually ended up back at the University of North Dakota, first as an instructor, then, after a three-year teaching stint at St. Cloud State, as UND’s director of public relations. I took early retirement in 2005.
All in all I’ve had a good run. Thank you, mom and dad.