From Kindergarten to College: A Starkville Student’s Journey


STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – It’s a long way from kindergarten to college. Back in 2002, our cameras followed five-year-old Daniel Ruff on his journey from his house to his first day of kindergarten at Sudduth Elementary School in Starkville.

Seventeen years later, we catch up with Ruff who is now a senior architect student at Mississippi State University, preparing for a year-long co-op with an architecture firm in Texas.

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Ruff said he doesn’t remember our cameras being at his house or following him to school that morning, but he said his family has watched the story many times over the years.

“We always get a crack out of it,” said Ruff. “My siblings will hold it against my whole life probably. But it’s funny.”

One of his professors, Alexis Gregory, said he has grown as a budding architect.

“He has some very beautiful models – conceptual models that he made last year in the studio that I taught him in, so he’s definitely gotten really good at gluing over the years,” said Gregory.

Dr. Angi Bourgeois is the dean of MSU’s College of Architecture, Art, and Design.

She said Daniel’s growth and passion show in his work.

“It’s not just the aesthetics; it’s not just the process of design, but it’s the making a positive impact on people because our environments are very powerful ways to change the world,” said Dr. Bourgeois.

Ruff’s journey may prove that everything we need to know we really do learn in kindergarten.