Anderson University is a special please to thousands of people.
The beauty of the campus, particularly the Valley area, has swayed many a high school student trying to choose between small Christian schools to attend AU. Expanded academic offerings, new facilities, and church and family connections can also be decisive factors.
Above all, I think, it's the spirit of AU that attracts new students and keeps graduates coming back to campus for events like this past weekend's homecoming festivities.
The university's administrators, faculty, other staff and students are, almost without exception, interested in the greater good. They're friendly, engaging and genuine.
One of the things I've enjoyed most since coming back to work at The Herald Bulletin in 2007 is the opportunity to spend more time on campus and to interact with AU folks.
Saturday, my 12-year-old son, Simon, and I visited AU to attend a volleyball match. Walking across the east side of campus, I pointed out Smith Hall to him and explained that my freshman year living at Smith was one of the funnest years of my life.
I feel special connections to other places at AU, as well, most notably O.C. Lewis Gym, where I had the privilege of playing for the Raven basketball team back in the late 1980s.
That's where Simon and I settled in to watch the volleyball match Saturday. The Ravens were playing Hanover College, a rivalry that dates back well past my AU/AC days.
We went to the match to watch Kyanne Stewart and Krissy Whiteley — both friends of our family — play for AU. But we had the good fortune of running into others with whom I have AU connections. It felt good to chat and reminisce a bit about the old college days.
It felt a lot like a true homecoming.
Today and tomorrow I will be attending the Associated Press Managing Editors annual national conference. The conference this year is at the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis, which is convenient for me and other editors of Hoosier newspapers.
Prior to the start of the conference Monday afternoon, I'll attend a meeting of the Indiana APME board of directors at the Hoosier State Press Association office in Indy.
Such meetings and conferences are, as much as anything, an opportunity to share common experiences with other editors from different locales. I always pick up a few ideas for better dealing with local news and creating better news products.
Though it can be difficult to be out of the office for a couple of days, I almost always find such professional development renewing and reinvigorating.
Hopefully, the APME national conference will help me become a better editor and will result in at least some small way in The Herald Bulletin being a better newspaper.
Editor Scott Underwood's column appears Mondays. Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @THBeditor. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 640-4845.