I have a hard time remembering specific life altering events in my life that Dan was a part of. Not because of a lack of encounters but because they were numerous and relatively brief. It wasn't until the tragedy on Sept. 11 that I can gain some perspective on Dan's importance to my life and that of my classmates at Loyola.
At the annual bull roast on the eve of Thanksgiving, Dan was as much a fixture in the gym as the cold beer, dusty banners and spinning wheels. Shaking Dan's hand that night and speaking to him for no more than two minutes every year seemed to give me some reassurance that I can't explain. This year's roast and every year to come will be different without a doubt.
There was a party one night our freshman year in college when everyone was home from school and Dan was out inexplicably later than usual. Dan was wearing a really nice Boston College baseball cap. I remarked how much I liked it. Dan took the hat off of his head, handed it to me and told me to keep it. That was the kind of guy he was, consistently. Dan portrayed the essence of being a Don, a man for others.
Since September 11, I have begun to see qualities of Dan in my fellow classmates that I have never noticed before, probably because I didn't stop to notice. Mike Geier, Jeremy Lippenholz and other fellow Dons have been passed the torch that Dan held so proudly. I look forward to shaking everyone's hand at the bull roast this year. Roll Dons Roll