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Danny Berger's Mother thanks Campus and the 'Aggie Family’ in Letter

Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013

Diane Berger, mother of Aggie basketball player Danny Berger, thanked Utah State University President Stan Albrecht and members of the campus community for the extraordinary support shown Danny and his family following Danny’s collapse at a Dec. 4, 2012, basketball practice. She agreed to allow President Albrecht to share her letter with the campus community.

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, 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 Coach 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 manager 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 Coach 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. Trek Lyons, Athletic Director Scott Barnes, Coach Tarvish Felton and Coach Tim Duryea, all of whom worked behind the scenes to insure that Dannny’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 out-pouring 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 insure 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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