A letter to TU: where is Springfest?

Confused alum looks for Springfest.

Dear TU,

Greetings. I am Harold Weiss. I am a proud TU alum and my dear boy Frank is a freshman this year studying Chemical Engineering in the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences. With the Oklahoma spring finally deciding to rear its windy head again, I told my dear wife Millicent that I would love to return to TU’s beautiful campus to enjoy an event that I have many fond memories of: Springfest at the University of Tulsa.

We piled in my Ram 1500 and drove the easy commute of four hours from our home in dear, windy Kansas. The sun and the smell of spring enlivened my spirits, and I began to dream of the nostalgia that awaited me in Tulsa. Millicent slept most of the drive.

We greeted our boy in the dorm I spent my freshman year in, John Mabee. “Well Frank,” says I,“Are you excited for your first TU Springfest?”

Frank looked a bit sheepish. “Well Pops,” he says. “I don’t know how to tell you this, but I don’t know what’s happening for Springfest.”

“You don’t know! You’ve got your head in the clouds again! Or it’s that damn phone your mama insisted you have when you’re at school.” I was aghast. Springfest was THE event for TU in the Spring. The petting zoo and the cornhole games were legendary. How could Frank not know??

“I mean it, Pops.” Frank protested. “I haven’t heard a thing. I tried to ask my RA about it but he just stared straight ahead.”

I was flummoxed. Surely there was a misunderstanding. There just had to be things going on. I led my family over to Ack-Ack. Surely there we could see them posters pointing us in the right direction.

The campus was vacant and had an uneasy air about it. The wind seemed to carry whispers in it, along with a hurried shout before it was stifled. Students kept together in tight groups, shooting nervous glances at us.

“Excuse me, could you let me know the schedule for Springfest events this weekend?” I asked a lady in what Frank told me was the Bookstore, but what just looked like someone trying to wear all their TU t-shirts at once. She stared at me with fearful eyes for a minute before murmuring. “I’m afraid I don’t know what you’re talking about sir. That will be $4000 for the keychain and the textbook.” She added to a frazzled looking freshman who decided that they actually did need their textbooks to pass their class.

“Are you new?” I demanded, “Everyone knows what Springfest is! There is food and music and free t-shirts! It’s a staple of the TU experience!”

The lady looked up at me with tears in her eyes. “Please sir, I can’t help you.”
Enraged, I stormed out of the Ack-Ack to find someone to help me. “Where is Springfest?!” I demanded of a tour guide ferrying a group of whippersnapper highschoolers. “Sp-springfest?” He stuttered. “There is no Springfest.”

“No Springfest.” Echoed some athletes leaving the Ack-Ack.

“No Springfest.” Chimed in the sorority girls from across the way.

“No Springfest.” Added two men in a golf cart driving by.

No Springfest??

No Springfest.

“It doesn’t exist.” Said the man in the dark blue suit and the dazzling smile who strode forward to shake my hand. “There is no Springfest at The University of Tulsa.”

TU, I write to implore you to correct this error. There was a Springfest. I was there! I remember it like it was yesterday. I know times have changed since I’ve been at TU (I blame those newfangled robots scurrying around and running things), but this is an event near and dear to the heart and soul of TU. It unites all us alumni and is the reason I made Frank go to TU in the first place. Please please tell me if there is a Springfest! I know I’m right, dammit, why won’t you confess?! My wife is threatening to leave me if I keep on spinning tales like this, so I need you to help me. Help me!

Harold Weiss

Post Author: Mary Lickona