Why I love Fredonia

There’s no such thing as Fredonia outside of your imagination. I can prove it.

If the state of New York came in today to shut down our university’s operation, Fredonia, as a place, would cease to exist. The collection of buildings, sidewalks, and trees would no longer be a university — it would just be another landscape. Fredonia can’t literally exist if a group of legislators can eliminate it with the stroke of a pen.

If Fredonia isn’t a collection of structures then maybe it’s a collection of people — the students, faculty, and staff. But that logic falters quickly, given that employees come and go, and that students graduate every year.

So If Fredonia isn’t a place, and it isn’t people, then what is it?

Fredonia is a story.

Yuval Noah Harari has brilliantly pointed out that humans rule the world, not because of our brainpower, but because of our ability to cooperate in large numbers. And in order to cooperate in large numbers we need a compelling story.

The United States tells a compelling story about “democracy.” Lawyers tell a compelling story about defending “human rights.” Catholics tell a compelling story about “God.” The stories are everywhere, and people who believe the same story can create a shared future together.

I love Fredonia because I love its story. Here’s what I’ve learned about it:

Former swimming and diving coach John Crawford on building relationships.

Women’s basketball coach Linda Hill-MacDonald on fighting for justice in women’s sports.

Vice President Terry Brown on making higher education affordable, and responding to a Donald Trump administration.

Vice President Cedric Howard on enrollment and who Fredonia will serve in the future.

Former track and field coach Jim Ulrch on building the most successful sports program in Fredonia’s history.

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