By Lisa Barry
I remember driving onto the campus of the University of Northwestern with my three little girls strapped into their carseats behind me. I had stepped back from a full-time position at 98.5 KTIS to a very part time one so I could spend more time at home. I was on my way to KTIS to do some after-hours recording. Driving down the winding road past the dorms, it was easy to recall my years as a student there, walking to class, schlepping my heavy backpack, and saying 'hi' to everyone I pass along the path.
I was a new Christian at the time, and was ecstatic about being a full-time student, soaking in the Bible teaching and dreaming about what my future might be like. I had not made very good choices in my life prior to that so God really had some work to do in me. But I was ready. I remember standing in the bookstore, paying for my textbooks, and holding them in my hands as if they were pure gold! It was one of the most wonderful seasons of my life. Even my dad who was skeptical that I'd ever be able to get turned around said at graduation "Lisa, it may have been your decision for Christ that started this new season of your life but it was the University of Northwestern that really turned you around!"
Slowing down to park the car, I remember thinking how sad it was they had to wait more than a decade to be college students at UNW. A weird thought, I know. But I knew if they could have even half the experience I did, they would thank me profusely. Well, here it is, 17 years later, and my youngest just graduated—making her my third and final child to get a diploma from UNW—just the way I dreamed. Now I will parent from a distance but I know they're equipped to build the life that God has given them a vision for. And I'm more confident than ever that there's no greater gift I could've given them.
You might guess that I would feel this way since I work at KTIS as the Midday radio girl, but my heart is filled with genuine gratitude that the institution that helped carve out a path for my future, did the same for the next generation.