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Tadd Kruse '99

Tadd Kruse Class of 1999

Four years after I graduated from Walsh University, I moved overseas to the United Kingdom to work at a US study abroad campus. I lead students on trips to fascinating and historic destinations throughout the UK and continental Europe. During several of my travels over the next couple of years and as part of my interactions with students on campus in the UK, I had experiences that caused me to reflect on my time at Walsh.

The first was during a trip to Florence, Italy as I meandered through the Uffizi Gallery with a group of students. As we walked through without any particular objective I recognized a painting from my Art History class with Professor Lattavo and proceeded to tell the students the flood of details I amazingly recalled. It was Botticelli's The Birth of Venus. A year later it was during a trip to Bergen, Norway where I encountered an exhibit on Edvard Grieg, a famed Norse classical composer on which I did a presentation for Dr. Ling's Music Appreciation class years prior. And later experiences included explaining the impact of the Euro on supply and demand to students from my accounts of Dr. Ezzie's Economics class, and using Dr. Koff's approach to encourage critical thinking in the classroom when I found myself leading a student discussion.

For me Walsh was not just what was gained in the classroom or notables such as the "Stumble Inn", cafeteria food, hearing about "the great pumpkin caper", climbing the bell tower, or other experiences common to most. It was in the many friendships that were born and the unique experiences that made it a memorable time. The connections with roommates, teammates, classmates, the dedicated staff and faculty and the many lifelong friendships I am fortunate enough to still have. The memories of tackle football games behind Menard hall, Café Kruse-n-Busch, barbeques, lunches with Father Don, intramural bowling, Christmas parties, Circle K, Madden tournaments, charity dances, parking lot Frisbee golf, and walking across campus conversing with Brother Charlie to name a few.

Although my career and travels have led me to live on several continents and travel too many countries around the globe, having seen a multitude of cultures, I am grateful for the lessons learned and friends made during my time at Walsh. What my experiences and travels have confirmed for me is that the real value of my Walsh experience goes beyond the knowledge obtained in the classroom and the facilities on campus, but exists in the Christian values, the commitment to service, the sense of community, and most importantly the people.