We are all Dunk City

When did you first hear about Florida Gulf Coast University?  If you are a sophomore or first year student, you probably saw the Eagles on TV during that wild week in March 2013.
Maybe you watched FGCU beat Georgetown or tuned to see the men’s basketball team play in the Sweet Sixteen.  Or you saw the women’s basketball team win in Tallahassee in 2015. You couldn’t wait to apply to the university that made history at the NCAA tournament and now you’re here. You’re finally part of Dunk City. It’s no longer something you’re watching on TV. You are an Eagle.
If you are an upperclassmen, you still have vivid memories of that week in March, when FGCU was besieged by fans. You couldn’t buy a t-shirt at the bookstore because the line stretched to 250 people.
You cheered your heart out when the Eagles made it to the Top 16.  Maybe you took the bus trip to Dallas and suffered heartbreak along with your friends when the Eagles lost to the Florida Gators.  But that memory will stay with you always, that special moment when the Eagles splashed onto the national consciousness. You’d love to see it happen again, while you’re still a student.  With a little luck, we will see some exciting things this year on the basketball court.
Two years after the NCAA tournament, Dunk City has a brand that flies higher and further than an eagle.  It began with a dunk and continued long after the last buzzer in Dallas.  And we’re all part of it – students, alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and fans.
Of course we’d love to see another Sweet Sixteen.  And what could be better than in 2016? But you’ll discover FGCU has more to offer than great basketball teams.  From the pond near South Village to the concerts played at the Music Center, from the swimming pool where Olympians have trained to the nature trail where students discover wildlife – there is always something to do at FGCU.
As you step onto the FGCU campus, you have a chance to be part of the Dunk City brand.  Whether you are visiting the Thomas Alva Edison house in Fort Myers, hanging out at a basketball game, attending a lecture, or watching a concert, you are Dunk City.  Because Dunk City isn’t just about an illustrious past; it’s about an amazing future. Whether you are first year student or senior, you have something amazing to offer this university and that starts today.
So just test the waters, and find out where you fit in at Dunk City.  Talk to someone new today. Try out for a singing group.  Join a club. Rush a sorority or fraternity. Plan a holiday party with friends. Volunteer at the Harry Chapin Food Bank.  Donate a can at Publix. Play an Ultimate Frisbee game with your friends. Hang out in SoVi for a few hours, drinking coffee and watching the world go by. There are a thousand ways to be part of the brand, and it’s all up to you. When you do something positive on or off campus, the rewards will be immeasurable.  So just go for it; you have nothing to lose.
Remember, the Cinderella tale isn’t over. As we head back to campus this fall, our trip to the NCAA tournament is fresh in people’s minds.  The spirit of FGCU flies as high as an eagle, and this time, instead of just watching it on TV, you can be part of it too.
Sue Henshon teaches composition and creative writing at Florida Gulf Coast University.