Shout out for fatherhood


At The Universe, we love our dads as much as you do. This Father’s Day, we wanted to share some our stories about fathers and fatherhood.

Now, we’d like to hear from you. Send your stories to , and we’ll put the best ones online in time for Father’s Day.


[media-credit name=”Alex Hoeft” align=”alignleft” width=”300″][/media-credit]The second bag always gave it away.

When I was little, my dad would leave for work every morning in a suit and tie, briefcase in hand. Occasionally, though, there would be a second bag signalling my dad was going on a trip to another state for a few days.

Right before he would walk out the door, I would wrap my entire body around his right leg and yell, “I’m a stuck bug! I’m stuck on you and I’m  not letting go!” It was my feeble attempt to make him stay home.

Fifteen years later, my need for him is no less. Though independence has come hand-in-hand with my college experience, my dad has been my rock. Be it angst over my future, stress concerning money or a discussion of the latest college basketball game (I grew up with three brothers), my dad is my go-to guy, and always, always, finds a way to calm me down.

Dad, you are my hero in every way. Happy Father’s Day.

— Alex Hoeft

State/National Editor




[media-credit name=”Carmen Dunford” align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]My dad has a good balance in his life between the silly and the serious: dancing, laughing and goofing off or getting to work, laying down the law and teaching the gospel. I have many fun memories like singing at the top of my lungs with him to Styx’s “Come Sail Away” and enjoying bike rides to the park. I have many more memories where my dad, through his example and his words, taught me that the gospel and our family are the most important things. I’ll always remember coming to understand the power of prayer and the strength of building a testimony through my everyday actions — lessons learned by spending valuable time with my dad.  I feel happy when I get to spend time with such a wise and loving man.

— Carmen Dunford



[media-credit name=”Courtesy Allie McCoy” align=”alignleft” width=”199″][/media-credit]Though I can’t remember much of my childhood, I remember at least one thing — bean with bacon soup. I know that seems strange, but bear with me. Everyday after kindergarten I’d get home before noon. Together my father and I would sit down with a bowl of Campbell’s Bean with Bacon soup and talk. I don’t know what I would chatter about, but I chattered on. When we were done, we’d clear our bowls and he’d put me down for my nap.

My dad has been through a lot in his life. He’s gone through trials I could never imagine surviving. Somewhere between flying F-16s and deploying to Iraq, he became the bravest man I have ever met. Each morning he wakes up and faces the day is another proof of his unwavering bravery.

He has raised me to be a strong daughter. He has taught me to take care of myself, to be strong and, most importantly, to act with bravery even when the world seems bleak. Without my dad I wouldn’t have made it to where I am today. He is the example to me of how to fight my battles. He is my hero. Best of all, he is my “daddie.”

— Allie McCoy

Deputy Print Editor


[media-credit name=”Kayla Franson” align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]Newspaper subscriptions were the first distraction to go on the day my dad decided to apply to medical school. I was in preschool when he realized his education, including a bachelor’s and master’s degree, was yet unfinished. So, driven by his courage and my mother’s faith, we moved from Washington to Ohio during the sweaty, mosquito-infested summer months.

Only a year ago, I learned he chose to do the first few years of medical school through independent study. All day he bent over textbooks in the library, but despite his exhausting schedule, I never thought he was away more than my friends’ fathers. He diligently left his studies at school so he could be with us, in body and mind, when he came home.

As kids, we were unaware of the grueling routine — we just knew our playtime was even more fun when he was around. We rode bikes and collected worms from the garden. He would jump us sky-high on the trampoline and once even made a treasure hunt leading to a bottle of Sprite to share.

My dad is a runner, a birdwatcher, a man of the land. He believes in simplicity and being elbow-deep in dirt. He grinds wheat for bread, presses apples to make cider (his liquid gold) and lives by principles inspired by the Amish. He is a storyteller, a handyman and the hardest worker I have ever known.

— Kayla Franson

Life, Etc. Editor



[media-credit name=”Chris Bunker” align=”alignleft” width=”199″][/media-credit]I think the greatest aspirations of any father is to be loved and respected by his children — For his children to trust him, confide in him, for them to want to be with him. I have two daughters and nothing brings more joy and satisfaction to my life than for my girls to give me a big hug and tell me they love me. This past week, I went to help put my three year old to sleep.  She is going on a vacation for the next couple of weeks with my wife to visit both sets of grandparents. I’m staying at home for work. As I laid by her, she turned to me and said, “Daddy, I’m going to miss you.” She then stretched her arms as wide as she could and said, “this much.” After a hug, kiss and an “I love you” she went to sleep. This makes it all worth it.

To my dad: I love you. I respect you. Thank you for being the man and father you are.

— Chris  Bunker




[media-credit name=”Megan Conrad” align=”alignright” width=”206″][/media-credit]It has been said a father is his son’s first hero and his daughter’s first love. From my earliest days, I can recall Saturday mornings with my dad. He would bring me to his office at BYU and take me to the vending machine for a bottle of chocolate milk. Magic carpet rides in laundry baskets and dancing on top of his toes in the kitchen filled my world with wonder. On campus and in our home, he taught me to love learning and awakened my curiosity for all things beautiful and fascinating in the world. He taught me my doubts were traitors and to always dream big.

When I fell off of my bike, he picked me up and made me ride again. Again and again, he’s picked me up. His word is always paramount, his work ethic is tireless and his passion to help has given me a pattern for life.

I am grateful for his sacrifices for me — big and small, seen and unseen. He’s the man who’s stood by me in every celebratory and heartbreaking moment in my life.

Perhaps the most important thing he taught me was the transcendent love of our Father in Heaven. I have been blessed immeasurably by his diligence in living the gospel and his service to my mother and to our family.

I love you, Dad.

— Megan Conrad




[media-credit name=”Kelly Haight” align=”alignleft” width=”300″][/media-credit]My relationship with my father is a unique one. He taught me to ride a bike, do long division, ski, manage time and money and gospel principles. He also taught me the value of friends and family.

My dad is in the Army, and I spent my childhood moving every two years. I know he felt bad about taking us away from our friends and stressed the value of  good friends. He taught me the importance of family. Whenever we were moving, he’d asked me who my best friend was. I would say a teammate or someone from school. He’d tell me I was wrong — my best friends were my sisters and brother. He taught me family is forever. Family is constant, and the love is unconditional.

A lot of dads work a 9 to 5 office job. They wear a suit and tie and carry a briefcase. My dad wears camouflage and combat boots. He carries a rucksack and an assault rifle. Since 9/11, he has spent years in war zones fighting for our freedoms. Sometimes he left in the morning before I got up and came home after I’d gone to bed. He missed soccer and lacrosse games. But it meant more when he was home and in the stands. Time was special, and I learned to make it count.

I appreciate what he taught me and continues to teach me, and I am grateful for his sacrifices. I love you, Dad. Happy Father’s Day.

— Kelly Haight

Campus/Metro Editor



[media-credit name=”Scott Hansen” align=”alignleft” width=”300″][/media-credit]Doing homework with my dad was an agonizing experience every night. When we sat down at the kitchen table to go over my math homework, his first question was “Where is your scratch paper?”

It was never about the answer for my dad. It was always about the process, the “how.” I was one who always wanted the answer to every problem and move on to the next one like any other normal teenager. But my dad would sit me down and, despite my protests, make sure I knew how the equation or the formula worked. We wouldn’t even start on the actual problem in front of me until I understood exactly how the process functioned.

This is his attitude in life. His hobbies, church calling, career and family are all infused with the process. It’s never been about the answer for him. It’s always been about the process. He understands every aspect of life is a continuous process of becoming better.

He taught me through the powerful medium of example to have a positive attitude, to take every aspect of life as an opportunity to get better and to always have my scratch paper.

—Scott Hansen

Sports and Recreation Editor

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