Degree for a Dog

Chelsie Brown
Created: May 14, 2019 10:45 PM

"It took me 12 years to finish," said former UMD men's hockey forward Rob Bordson. "I mean I started going to UMD in 2007.

For the Duluth native, he thought he was living out his dream by playing for his hometown team.

"My grandma worked in the concession stand 15 for like 30 years," said Bordson. "I grew up watching the Bulldogs, bleeding Bulldogs, and just to play in front of family and friends - honestly playing every weekend at home was the best."

Bordson saw ice time his freshman and sophomore seasons, but it wasn't until his junior year, where in 40 games he registered 40 points, that playing professional hockey became an option.

"It's a very tough decision as a 19 to 21-year-old person. You know, you're not really full mature and it's a pretty big, life changing decision," he added.

He ended up leaving UMD early and signed a pro contract with the Anaheim Ducks organization. Since leaving the Bulldogs, he's been playing hockey in the pros ever since - playing in leagues such as the AHL, the ECHL, and most recently overseas. However, he admitted he had some unfinished business with UMD; that was getting his degree.

"This year playing in Austria, I had an unfortunate injury, so I was able to come home right after Christmas. I signed up for my last four classes and it ended up working out really well," said Bordson.

Throughout his journey he ended up falling behind in his academics once signing a pro contract, then took six years off of school. He even made a minor change to his degree, but as of Saturday, Bordson walked across the stage officially as a UMD graduate, with a degree in finance, that has him set up for life after hockey.

"At the end of the day, I got my degree and I'll have it in my back pocket once I'm done playing hockey," said Bordson.

He said he's not done playing just yet. Bordson also said he's been in communication with some of the recent Bulldogs that have left the program early such as Mikey and Joey Anderson as well as Neal Pionk. All three of them hope to finish their education and Bordson hopes he can be a role model.

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Chelsie Brown

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