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LETTER: Diane Berger: Thank you

On January 24, 2013


The following letter, which was sent by Diane Berger to President Stan Albrecht, is printed with the permission of Albrecht and Berger.


Dear Mr. Albrecht,


Last fall when my son first attended Utah State University he would call me and say things like “We are the Aggie Nation,” “I am part of the Aggie Family” and “It’s the Aggie Way.” I had no idea what that really meant until Dec. 4, 2012 when I received every parent’s nightmare phone call. I am the mother of Danny Berger, the student athlete who went down on the court at basketball practice, the player who would have lost his life if it wasn’t for an organization that was well prepared, trained, responsible and courageous. Words cannot describe the thanks I feel for the many administrators, trainers, coaches, teachers, team members and students who were in Danny’s court throughout his ordeal. My family and I will be indebted to them forever.

Yours is a special school that can say it has an athletic trainer like Mike Williams. A humble, yet extremely capable, man who takes his job seriously every day and in every way. A man who saved my son’s life, then waited all night in the lobby of a hospital until he was sure he would pull through.

Yours is a special school that can say it has a head basketball coach like Stew Morrill. A man that my son has respected from the first day of practice, and a man who could reach out personally in the hospital with love and concern in his heart.

Yours is a special school that can say it has a basketball team manger like Jesse Parker. A man who at a young age is one of the most responsible people I know. He stepped up in a panic situation and has gladly followed through by continuing to look out for Danny’s well-being.

Yours is a special school that can say it has an assistant basketball coach like Chris Jones. That poor man called me several times updating me on my son’s condition while I flew from Medford to San Francisco to Salt Lake City. I was a wreck and he calmly gave me correct information that I so desperately needed to hear.

Yours is a special school that can say it has men like Dr. Treck Lyons, Athletic Director Scott Barnes, coach Felton and coach Curyea. All of whom worked behind the scenes to ensure that Danny’s care and recovery would be the best it could possibly be. Yours is a special school that has a basketball team that wins consistently year after year. But more importantly this year your school has proven that it has a team made up of very talented young men who know that the most important thing in life is the relationships that they build and not a win-loss record.

Yours is a special school that can say it has a student body that is the best in the country. The outpouring of prayers and support for Danny was absolutely incredible. Through Facebook, Twitter, emails and good old-fashioned letters and notes (more than 1,500, Danny counted) your students showed that Utah State is truly an Aggie Family who all deeply care about each other.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the work you have done to ensure that capable and compassionate people are hired at Utah State and that the message of caring for each other as a part of an “Aggie Family” is not just a saying but a way of life. I truly believe that an organization’s vision is shaped from the top and you should indeed be proud of all you have done to create the outstanding image of a great institution such as Utah State University.

Warmest Regards,


Diane Berger

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