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Our Present Future

a smiling football player without his helmet
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We originally had utopian visions for our cover with a happy focus on the future. The pandemic’s punch to the gut, however, brought us back to the present. Instead of flying cars, we selected student-athlete Jordan Nathan.

As of this writing, our football players do not know what the season holds. They are suiting up and preparing for the “maybes” while our basketball players are still coping with the “what-ifs.” In March, the men’s team was at the top of its game. When they defeated San Diego State, little did they know that their NCAA Tournament aspirations were arching like Sam Merrill’s 3-pointer just before it dropped. In this issue we learn that the pandemic may have stolen the moment, but not the dreams of our student athletes. What we see in Nathan’s eyes on the cover of our magazine, is what this moment also reveals about our university—how goals, in the face of barriers, generate determination.

It is a well-grounded approach to the future, acknowledging the challenges while figuring out ways to overcome them. Like what our team of researchers in the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences are doing right now as they try to understand and defeat the novel coronavirus. And what our other university researchers are doing today to shape the future of transportation, cities, schools, and agriculture.

a dog walking a trail at sunset

After three decades of higher education advocacy, executive editor John DeVilbiss is retiring. We will miss him. Photo by John DeVilbiss.

The future is fittingly on my mind as I bring my career to a close and pass the baton to Kristen Munson. I count myself lucky to have spent 30 years at USU advocating for education. Nothing has been more satisfying, and hopeful, than working in an environment that stretches minds, opens doors, and increases understanding.

As for flying cars, I am still hoping, right along with Edith Bowen Laboratory School student Elle Turner. “When I’m older,” she writes, “I hope there are flying cars so I can park on the top of the mountain and make a picnic and see the sunset with my dog.”

John DeVilbiss, Executive Editor
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