This weekend, Nov. 14-15, Davidson College launches a capital campaign, Game Changers.
A capital campaign is a big deal in the life of a college. It has me thinking about my life, at this college.
And about Creedence Clearwater Revival.
Of my time here as a student in the early ’80s I have broad and roomy (if perhaps not all-inclusive) memories. There wasn’t as much to keep up with then. For instance, even the Lake Norman condo complex where I live now was just a mud bank and some pine trees. Ditto Exit 36, or 28 in ye olde days of Ham’n’Eggs, Cashion’s and cow pastures.
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When I came back to Davidson from Charlotte to work as a college staff writer in 2001, things in general were still not yet ramped up and amped up the way they are now. Digital photography was new, ish. Newspapers and land lines were the norm, ish. Social media wasn’t anything.
These are thoughts in my head as I consider Davidson’s aspiration to “reimagine the liberal arts and sciences” for today’s exponentially fast-changing times—so different now than even a few short, four-year student generations ago. Such ongoing reimagining is, to quote Davidson President Quillen, an “iterative process.” Put even more forthrightly: we’re making it up as we go along, as one does, as we have always done, only now constantly adjusting for the best mix for tech and touch as well as for thinking and feeling, facts and intuition.
That’s how life works, and it nothing stays put for long, round and round we go.
A wise friend once taught me that, while it may feel like we’re living in circles, we’re really living a spiral. He circled his index finger down the length of his thigh to illustrate that, yes, we go over the same spots again and again. But each time, we’re a little farther along. The angle is a little more acute, the arc of the spiral a bit tighter, the gesture more refined.
And, in light of the Game Changers campaign, that brings us to Creedence Clearwater Revival’s John Fogerty and his sons’ recent, well, revival of the 1969 CCR classic “Lodi.” The song is now, at once, something old and something new.
I remember the original (I was six) as a broad, roomy tune of my halcyon youth. With its fresh infusion now of the youthful energy of the Fogertys fils—game changers—it’s the same but different, familiar but sharper, more present than just hearing the original on the radio, yet again. In the words of one Amazon reviewer: “Just different enough to be fun but close enough to the original to be cool!”
Here’s to necessary growth, and a game that can and must change and stay the same.