I had the most amazing experience this week. Upon entering the Financial Aid area at Mott Community College…
I decided not to go in our secure door for staff but walked through the reception area as I do from time to time to see how things were going with our front line staff. As I approached the desk, I thought I saw an older gentleman walking away that could be Dick Johnson, one of MSFAA’s founding father and a Past President! I called out his first name, but he did not answer. I quickly ask the receptionist, the nature of the gentleman’s concern and she stated “he said he use to work here”. Moving as fast as I could (limping), I shouted out his full name twice, on the second shout, he turned around and came to me. It was Dick Johnson!!!! He remembered my face but not my name. We embraced and immediately ventured down memory lane for at least 20 minutes, MSFAA baseball games at Lake Superior College, retreats at Northwestern University (where I took the “trust test” as a possible leader by following Paul Gill—Saginaw Valley, blindfold, into the Men’s room where he turned on the water faucet—only Paul Gill would think of this!!)
Running into Dick Johnson was an exhilarating experience and divine intervention for me because our current MSFAA board had been trying to locate our founding fathers and past presidents. More importantly, seeing him was a reminder of why MSFAA exist today and how hard our founders fought for the financial programs that we have today for needy students.
Dick was at Mott because he was visiting someone nearby and decided to walk over and see his “old office” again (Former Financial Aid Director at Mott Community College). He had not been at Mott since 1982. He does not have an email address, does not text and only turns his land line on when necessary. Dick and his wife ride their bike on an average of 12 miles a day. He looks great.
Dick sadly mentioned all of our founding fathers were gone. He said other than Bill Munsell, another Past President, he had not seen anyone in Financial Aid in 25 years.
I was at the right place at the right time. How lucky for me! I shared our 50th Anniversary Plans with him. Unfortunately for MSFAA, Dick will be in Arizona in January. However, he plans to attend our Past President’s Breakfast at Summer Training, Crystal Mountain, in June. Dick did agree to allow me to take a picture of him for the Anniversary Memory book. The rest of the day was a happy one for me!
Create new memories by registering for winter conference today!