Every year, all four classes of PLP make the pilgrimage to Dr. Linda Olson’s, house for free food, quality sauna time, and to meet friends old and new before the quarter gets crazy. For the fourth year students, it offers a chance to get excited about the year ahead, reminisce about memories living with other PLPers in JMac (Johnson-McFarlane Hall, mothership and residence hall home to PLP), and meet the newest generation of eager leadership students.
Most of our third year students are having adventures in all sorts of exotic locales, from Peru to Paris, and were noticeably absent from the boisterous conversations that filled Linda’s backyard. But for those who chose to spend their third year in Denver, the BBQ is a reminder that PLP is home, and the bonds forged in the halls of JMac cannot be so easily broken.
For our second years, Linda’s BBQ is a heroic return: they are no longer the new kids on campus but the starters of tradition, the community servants about to embark on one of the most challenging and rewarding projects of their undergraduate careers. Plus, they were the ones who started throwing Paul, Linda, Mimi, and Lauren into the pool. Occasions where you see your professors thrown into a pool are rare – so PLP knows how to enjoy them.
For our first years, the annual BBQ is the dawn of a new era, quite literally. The first class to have 88 aspiring leaders, their presence was felt tremendously by the older students, and the backyard felt a little smaller and bigger all at once. While the first year at DU can be tremendously overwhelming, knowing that there are not only 87 other students to call friends, but four whole classes of PLPers who have been where they are is exciting and comforting in a time when there is a lot that is not as certain.
Of course, this is not the only time that all four classes of PLP will be together, but having everyone under one roof (or in one yard) is rare enough that Linda’s BBQ will always be one of the most fun and lighthearted convergences of PLP students all quarter!
Written by: Scholars Board member, Zoe Jade Diaz-McLeese