An Open Letter to a Favorite Uncle

Gabe Judah Honoring Phil Knight

Dear Mr. Knight,

I’ve long considered writing this letter to you. Whenever I speak of our wonderful university, your name is as unavoidable as the sight of Pioneer Father as I stroll through campus. I remember two times when I was a student at the University of Oregon, attending a football game, you walked past me and I wanted so badly to stop you and speak with you for just a moment. But I was too shy and didn’t want to bother you—I understand the sanctity of Saturdays at Autzen Stadium.

What I would have said to you then is what I write now: thank you. The library that you helped build was my sanctuary. For three years the Knight Library was the building full of all the answers I sought. My wife would drop me off there at 7:30 on her way to work, so I could study in the morning. When it was winter and we couldn’t afford the luxury of turning on our heat, it was where I could go to read my texts with hands not trembling. I am a high school teacher now, and when I speak of the beauty of a well-stocked library I do my best to shape their imaginations to the inside of your library.

Phil Knight

I have friends and former students who worked their way through the law school with your last name on it. It is beautiful, they tell me. Some of the brightest students I’ve pointed toward the university have returned from visits marveling at the beauty of buildings with your name on them. Some of Oregon’s finest young minds have chosen our school and to keep their talent inside the borders of our state thanks to how you have helped transform the university. Thank you.

Our athletic facilities are second to none, for both the athletes and the fans. The impact that having wonderful stadiums, thanks to your contributions, has had on students, student-athletes, and community members cannot be overstated. Thank you.

Now, I know that you aren’t the only one responsible for all the wonderful things at the university. I know that you are also not without controversy. I was a student during the 2000 scrum. But I do appreciate everything you’ve done for my alma mater. Outside of my wonderful professors and supportive wife, you have had more of an influence on my education than any other person. Thank you.

Gabe Judah

P.S. While I wrote this letter expressing my own opinions, I hope that others on whose life you have had an impact feel free to say thank you in their own way in the comments below.

New 2024 FishDuck Publishing Schedule….

During the off-season the publishing schedule will consist of articles on Mondays and Tuesdays. Do keep checking as new articles could be published during the week when a writer has something to say.

In mid-August of 2024, we will go back to the seven-days-a-week of articles during the football season as we did in the football season of 2023.

The Our Beloved Ducks Forum (OBD) is where we we discuss the article above and many more topics, as it is so much easier in a message board format over there.  At the free OBD forum we will be posting Oregon Sports article links, the daily Press Releases from the Athletic Department and the news coming out every day.

Our 33 rules at the free OBD Forum can be summarized to this: 1) be polite and respectful, 2) do not tell anyone what to think, feel or write, and 3) no reference of any kind to politics. Easy-peasy!

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