I recently received a copy of the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point (my undergraduate university) 125th anniversary commemorative year book. I find it interesting how sometimes a theme or topic, such as LCR’s 2019 theme “Bridges” that has been a part of my recent focus appears in unexpected places. They have a section recognizing individuals who jumpstarted the university’s first comprehensive capital campaign. They describe it as building a bridge to the future, one friend at a time. The acknowledgement is preceded by a two-page verse entitled “Bridge Builders”. I thought it is interesting how it discusses bridges we build do not necessarily have to be for our own benefit. They can be a gift to those coming after us.
An old man, going a lone highway,
Came at the evening cold and gray
To a chasm vast and deep and wide
Through which was flowing a sullen tide.
The old man crossed in the twilight dim;
The rapids held no fears for him.
But he turned when safe on the other side
And built a bridge to span the tide.
“Old man,” cried a fellow pilgrim near,
“You’re wasting your time in building here.
Your journey will end with the closing day;
You never again will pass this way.
You have crossed the chasm deep and wide;
Why build you this bridge at even-tide?”
The builder lifted his old gray head.
“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,
“There follows after me today
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
This stream, which has been naught to me,
To that fair youth may a pitfall be.
He too must cross in the twilight dim—
Good friend, I am building this bridge for him.”
- Will Allen Dromgoole
Taken from the 2019 University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point 125th anniversary yearbook Then, Now, Forever