This week, high school music teachers across our region opened their emails to find a message from Dr. Randy Dickerson. It asked them to check out a brand new documentary about the Blugold March Band. I've gotten a sneak peek at that video, and it's pretty amazing.
Yes, it tells the story of how Dr. Dickerson has built the BMB, as we call it, from 60 musicians to more than 300 —the largest band in NCAA Division III athletics. And yes, the video tells the story about the 240 non-music majors who participate. And yes, it's got some great music and even better moves in it (check out the GoPro action!).
But what I really like about this video — and what I hope a lot of future Blugolds discover —is the kind of transformational experience they'll find here at UW-Eau Claire. The BMB story is echoed across the campus —repeated in the undergraduate research mentoring that happens with literally hundreds of our faculty and the students. It's repeated in the support networks Blugolds build when they participate in our more than 250 clubs and our athletic teams. This video captures what is best about this university —caring faculty and staff, experiences that stretch students and invite them to grow, plus some pretty incredible music.
I encourage you to watch the video and to share it with any high-school students you know. You'll meet Eduardo Rafael Leoncio do Nascimento, an international student from Brazil who got hooked on the BMB and discovered friends he will have forever. You'll see Briar Swann, a baton twirler, and Ben Mackie, a mellophonist, share their first-year experiences, from learning the steps in August to an adrenaline-filled performance at the Bands of America Super Regional Championship in Indianapolis. All of them found in the BMB a home that helped them navigate life at college while creating performances that truly rock.
That's the BMB story. And it's a good one. But it's just one of countless student success stories I see across this university. What's your story?