I learned earlier in the year that my college President would be retiring. He put in 12 good years, and was all-around liked by the community, even naming a building after him in celebration of a job well done. HC's website has been marking the "lasts" of Fr. McFarland's tenure, which is bittersweet for sure. But today, I read about a "last" that for some reason hit really close to home.
Fr. McFarland is serving his last Midnight Breakfast with the senior staff at HC. I don't know why, but this struck a chord with me, as Midnight Breakfast was one of my favorite memories of college. Every night of Finals Week, staff and faculty members would stay out late and serve breakfast to the overtired, overworked Crusaders. It was a nice way to break up days of stressful studying and paper writing (and for me, play directing) by meeting friends in Crossroads to read, edit papers, and drink way too much coffee while eating egg sandwiches. I remember in those broke college student days making sure I budgeted enough in that last week to get orange juice, an egg sandwich, and that side of bacon to stuff into said egg sandwich.
I know that others went regularly, but I mainly remember meeting up with my friends Tim, Jess, and Karin at Midnight Breakfast. We were also the crew who spent way too much time in the campus center on couches, reading and drinking coffee and being slightly bitchy. I also remember making plans to see people or study with certain classmates at Midnight Breakfast. It was the place to go when being in your room or one of the libraries was a bit too much.
Fr. McFarland would always be there night one, happy to scoop out homefries to the busy students, always trading in his priestly attire for jeans and a plaid shirt. I don't know why, but this always charmed me.
So I'm sad to see Fr. McFarland leave the community, and it makes me think fondly of my four years at college all over again. I only hope the next president enjoys his time at midnight breakfast, and has a trusty plaid shirt to don while scooping out eggs.