WSU President Olson 2015 Poem

Listen to President Olson’s 2015 Poem “Greetings, Friends!”

Greetings, Friends!

(With apologies to Roger Angell and Ian Frazier)

Greetings, Friends, along the Mississippi;
In country or city; square or hippy;
You want to know what beauty is, sir? Pull
Up a plan for a planet more purple!

How could this place be the least bit humdrum
When filled with boosters the color of plum?
I can assure you you’re never more blissed
Than festooned head-to-toe in pure amethyst.
And as for vision, imagine the scope
Of a world ensconced in heliotrope!

Three cheers for Wazoo, who’s travelling the world
To see that Winona State purple’s unfurled.

Boats on the water from here to Lake Pepin
Stall to give praise to Jessica Hepin-
-stall: the hardworking, talented president
Of a student Senate sans precedent.
And who leads us in, in our doctoral gowns?
Resplendent with mace, there stands Dr. Downs
And leading the whole of the ASF team?
Who other than a certain Tracy Rahim?
AFSCME has Rick, and MAPE Jay and Kay,
And managing it all, we’ve got MMA.
Here’s what I’ve learned up to this point my dear:
Our field of talent is just without peer.

I’m on solid ground when I say in this nation
No university has such fine administration.
Our new deans include Akbari, Hamid
It’s so clear that he means Business, indeed!
The Ed Village will be a cool fort, man,
Up on the parapet stands Tarrell Portman!

This land, these folks: the source of our power,
Helping the color of violet flower.
Whether it’s lavender or periwinkle,
Lilac or mauve, whatever the wrinkle.
To be technical: Pantone Violet U.
(A teacher once told me just mix red with blue.)

Our people make purple a beautiful color:
And that makes our world so much less duller!

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Dr. Scott R. Olson was appointed the 15th president of Winona State University on May 16, 2012. He has published two books, 30 book chapters and 22 journal articles in publications in the United States, Canada, China, Korea, Poland, Russia, and India. He has delivered over 100 papers at conferences in Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Korea, Poland, Taiwan and the United States. Through a $20 million gift from the Lilly Endowment he was able to create the Global Media Network (which won a national award from the American Council on Education) and the Center for Media Design.

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