“You can go anywhere from here,” is a phrase that isn’t new to SDSU students, and one former Jackrabbit didn’t have to go far to find success-just 268 miles, to be exact.
The Governor’s Mansion is a big step up from the fourth floor of Binnewies Hall for Gov. Mike Rounds. Rounds wasn’t very different from most SDSU students. He played baseball for the Jacks his freshman year and was active in intramurals throughout his college career.
He spent time working as an officer for the UPD and as a representative on the Student Senate. While in the Senate, Rounds was able to take part in making what was then a controversial change-abolishing the mandatory curfew for females. Until then, women had to be back in their residence halls by 10 p.m. or they were locked out for the night.
Rounds has fond memories of his time as a student here in Brookings. He met his wife, Jean, one night downtown and this town still means a lot to the couple. His favorite class was philosophical therapy, a new class at the time taught by Dr. Dave Nelson. Another one of his favorite professors was Dr. Robert Burns.
Rounds also remembers the cold winters Brookings is prone to experiencing. While students today may feel like it couldn’t get any worse during the long walk from the Union to Ag Hall, Rounds is confident that winter was much colder when he walked the same route.
Like a true Jackrabbit, Rounds played an active part in Hobo Days each year. He says he really enjoyed watching the Bum Olympics, but what he really loved was how alive the student body felt during that whole week. He also admits that he did celebrate Hobo Days in the same tradition as current students; as he put it, “I had a good time.”
Rounds said SDSU gave him a great foundation to build his career and life on. Because of the different people he met during his time here and the diversity he was able to experience, Rounds says he was able to learn tolerance in a way he might not have been able to if he hadn’t come to SDSU. His experiences during his time at SDSU more than adequately prepared him to enter the real world.
Rounds is optimistic about SDSU’s future with new president David Chicoine. While the governor has only met with Chicoine once, he was very impressed. He believes Chicoine will demand excellence and will challenge students in a different way than outgoing president Peggy Gordon Miller has. He also believes that there will be a very strong push to put not just our athletics on the level expected of Division-I schools, but also our academics.
“SDSU is truly on a roll,” says Rounds.