The Freedom to Take Some Risks

by Dr. David Jones (’76)

I grew up in York, Neb., population 6,867 (back then). I would have been in the 1976 graduating class if I’d made it that far, but more on that later.

Where else could you borrow a professor’s car, have an accident… fess up to it and still pass the course?

During my first semester in 1972, I was taking a religion course under Prof. Mattingly. He was gone for a week, and my roommate had his car. I borrowed Prof. Mattingly’s car to go on a double date, and when the other couple got out, the car next to me caught the door and sprung it off the hinges so it wouldn’t close completely.

Where else could you borrow a professor’s car, have an accident (I had it repaired before he returned), fess up to it and still pass the course?

One last thing that my education afforded me was the opportunity to be an organic chemistry lab assistant to Prof. Paul Laursen as a biology major during my junior year. (Chemistry professors at most schools would have reserved spots like that for the seniors in their own department.)

I credit that experience, as well as the quality of my education and the reputation of NWU’s curriculum and faculty, for helping me to successfully enter the University of Nebraska College of Dentistry after my junior year.