iSPY SLU - How You'll Find SLU Wherever You Go | St. Lawrence University

iSPY SLU - How You'll Find SLU Wherever You Go

Eliza Maher
2020

When I was a little kid, I used to love to play the game iSpy on long car rides. My older brothers would take turns giving me “iSpys,” to guess. Usually they were all very simple:

“iSpy something blue.”

“The sky.” Bingo.

“iSpy something green.”

“The trees.” Yup.

But there was one car ride, on our way to Denver, Colorado, that my brother, who was a current student at St. Lawrence at the time, looked out the window and said, “Hey, iSpy something SLU!”

I peeked out the window so I could spy it for myself – sure enough, on the back of the car in front of us was a St. Lawrence sticker plastered on the bumper. When we drove by them, my brother tipped his SLU hat to the man in the driver’s seat – the man realized the connection and honked, as his face broke out with a smile and the expression that usually comes with those “ah-ha” moments. There were no words spoken, but yet, that 10-second interaction created a bond between my brother and him. They were both Laurentians – they didn’t need to know each other’s stories, backgrounds, or even names, that fact alone was enough.

Flash forward a few years and now I’m a student at St. Lawrence. It’s the summer before my junior year and I’m getting coffee at a place in East Orleans, Cape Cod. This time I’m the one wearing a SLU hat. A man spots it, and as I pass him, he shouts, “St. Lawrence!” I hear him and turn around and smile – I immediately know he’s a fellow Sluzer, just like me. He’s an alumnus, and his daughter had just graduated in the spring. We talk for 20 minutes about St. Lawrence, my major, and my plans for after college. He genuinely wanted to know and was interested in hearing about me.

To someone from a big university or college, this interaction might seem insignificant. But for our small, liberal arts school tucked away in the beautiful North Country of Upstate New York, sightings of SLU off campus are always something special. And the magical thing about it is they happen all the time.

A fellow classmate of mine, Emily Osiecki ‘19, traveled to the Amalfi coast with her family for a trip the summer before her first year at St. Lawrence. One day, they went to Pompeii and hiked Mount Vesuvius and when they reached the top there was a man wearing a St. Lawrence shirt. Emily approached him and told him she was going to start at SLU in the fall. Turns out, the man was an alumnus himself. They had a wonderful conversation, chatting all about how much Emily would love SLU. And so there, at the top of Mount Vesuvius – a whole continent separating their location and St. Lawrence’s – Emily spied SLU.

It’s a well-known thing that no matter where you are, you will find SLU somehow. And the magic about it isn’t even in spying it, the magic is once you do, you can’t help but feel a connection.

When I was conducting my own college search, I looked at all small, liberal arts schools in the Northeast; schools just like SLU. I toured them, had interviews, researched them, but the key difference I found between the others and SLU was in the people. When I was on St. Lawrence’s campus I immediately felt welcomed. It was cozy, warm, and just plain nice. I think that’s why our connections with SLU and the people here last a lifetime. Because once you’re at St. Lawrence, you never want to leave – you never want that feeling to go away. So the way we Laurentians keep it alive is by finding it wherever we go and when we do spy it, whether it’s on the top of the mountain, or in a car going 70 on the thruway, we stop and smile.