“Hey, Utica College!”

Guest post by Kelly Adams, Assistant Vice President for Marketing and Communications at Utica College. 

It’s a small world, indeed.

Never would I have imagined, that after arriving from Albany to Orlando International Airport, boarding the shuttle bus, and getting set to begin a weeklong Disney family vacation, that the first words I’d hear were, “Hey, Utica College!”

I looked up and across the aisle from my seat on the Disney Magical Express airport shuttle, and was greeted by a woman with an unmistakable Tennessee accent who was seated barely an arm’s length away with her husband.

img_2492-2She motioned with her eyes to the similarly unmistakable moose logo on the breast of my UC pullover, presumably so as not to unduly alarm me.

“Our son graduated from the Economic Crime Management master’s program,” she volunteered, before we proceeded to spend the next 40 minutes of our commute from Orlando Terminal B to the Magic Kingdom discussing our UC connection.

My wife, a UC alumna herself, and I would later half-joke that we can’t go anywhere without running into a member of our extended Utica College family. But the first day, let alone the first interaction of the vacation?

The first was far from the last.

Only hours later, my orange, Trax-logoed quarter zip was spotted again. As I shouldered my way through the jubilant chaos (Disney speak for unforgiving crowds) of Disney Springs, I stopped to let a stroller through.

The pilot of the stroller looked up. “Utica College? I graduated in ’06. I played lacrosseimg_2493 for Coach Nelson.”

We chatted, exchanged favorite stories of our time at UC, and soon discovered we shared several mutual friends.

The week would not be complete without another UC chance encounter – this time with a young woman who sold me a Mickey-shaped soft pretzel the size of my youngest son’s head, who, as it happens, was the daughter of an 80s UC grad. She noticed my UC hockey t-shirt.

The moral of the story?

Well, for starters, my casual wear wardrobe is obviously lacking in variety. Moreover, if you’re traveling, don’t forget to pack a UC shirt. You never know when or where you’ll bump into a fellow Pioneer.

It’s a small world after all (hokey, I know).