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Barbara Spaeth-Baum, Published August 01 2009

Lunday provides lesson for us all

The occasion of North Dakota State College of Science alumnus Wilbur Lunday remembering our school in his will makes one think of generosity and what it truly means to give.

We give of ourselves constantly, as good friends, family members co-workers, neighbors and citizens. Some would say that giving is our purpose on Earth – we were endowed by our forefathers with certain unalienable rights, and among life and liberty is the pursuit of happiness. True happiness can be found in generosity.

It may seem counter-intuitive – when we think of happiness we think of acquisition – a fulfilling job, a loving relationship, a fine house, a lot of money. But, certainly, looking at that list with honest eyes, we see that the first two items carry much more importance than the last two. And how are they attained? By being open and giving – in hard work, in attentiveness, in compassion for one’s fellow man. And this effort gives us one of the best rewards of all – the knowledge that we have contributed to another’s happiness and done something good for society.

Not all of us have the resources of the Lunday family, but we can all find a way to give. We can volunteer at a church or shelter, give blood, or donate items to the Salvation Army. All will enrich us emotionally, mentally and spiritually more than they impoverish us materially.

And if we can give money, so much the better. As we have been giving in our efforts throughout life, haven’t others given to us? What better feeling than to repay a debt, to ensure that others may have the same life-enriching experiences that we have had? That is what Lunday did by generously donating $1 million to the college, and it is a wonderful way to remember him.

Spaeth-Baum is director of college relations and marketing, North Dakota State College of Science.