A Celebration of 4B: Introduction
I feel compelled to celebrate 4B.
4B, for those who haven’t attended LeTourneau University, was the floor I spent four years living on while I earned my undergrad degree from LeTourneau. At LeTourneau, in a way that I understand to be rare among colleges nowadays, life revolves around the floor you are on. Everything from student government to intramural teams to where you usually eat your meals in the cafeteria is organized by floors.
4B is located on the highest (fourth) floor of the east (B) wing of Tyler Hall, the oldest dorm on campus at LeTourneau. The older the dorm at LeTourneau, with rare exception, the more tradition has been built up on the floors in the dorm. This is absolutely the case for Tyler Hall, and the floors in Tyler Hall have a reputation for both being tightly knit together and for being “crazier” than your average student at LeTourneau.
Now, in my experience, floors are not often celebrated by those who attend other colleges. At most colleges, there is no sense of “floor pride,” or even of a floor identity. I understand it to be rare for a floor to have a name or mascot associated with it, and even rarer for that name to remain constant over the years. I find that it is common for students to move to multiple floors from year to year, with nary a second thought. Even rarer is the floor that actually has a distinctive culture!
At LeTourneau, though, things are different. It is uncommon, if not rare, for a student to move from one floor to another, and then to a third floor in a year or two. Each floor has a distinctive culture which is strong enough that it usually influences each student who lives on the floor; each floor has a name and mascot/symbol that remains constant through the years. What is more, each floor is a community. Some of the floors do not take this seriously and do not intentionally shape their community; frankly, it is difficult to have a tight-knit community when it is made up of 50-some-odd skeptical, rugged-individualist young men living in a twisting, turning maze. The older floors have it better than that, though, with something like half that number on straight halls and, in Tyler Hall, public restrooms to boot. It is much easier to form community in these conditions, skeptical, rugged-individualist men or not.
That’s why I want to celebrate 4B. Because it was a community for me- a brotherhood. 4B was where I became a man, where I learned many a lesson about life and leadership and where I made friends I will keep for the rest of my life. 4B took in, and continues to take in, boys on the cusp of manhood and melded them together into a brotherhood of men who’s lives have been profoundly impacted by doing life with each other. My life is one that was profoundly impacted and I want to share what I learned from 4B, because it is good and should be celebrated!