We just celebrated Graduation for the undergraduate class of 2010 on Saturday. It was a wonderful day with three ceremonies. I always look forward to Graduation because it is a day of pure joy and excitement. The weeks leading up to it are often stressful and demanding, with stressed students (and sometimes parents!) demanding to be able to participate. The checklist of items to prepare is long. The details are legion.
But the day? Oh, it’s such a different day than the previous ones. Students arrive with a glow of anticipation. They pick up their gowns with large smiles and looks of wonder as they heft the gowns and hoods, and promptly put them on backwards 🙂 while the omnipresent Proud-Parent-with-Camera stands nearby.
My favorite part of the day is when grads cross the stage to receive their diplomas. I’m fortunate to be able to announce their names and whether they graduate with Distinction or not. Our process is that they hand me a card with their name on it, and when they do, the look in their eyes is amazing. I see everything from panic (shaky hands and wide eyes) to complete joy. I had three favourites from this year. One young lady drew in a sharp breath as she handed me her card and then let it out in a big long sigh of happiness as I read her name. The second was a student I’d gotten to know a little who had written on his card, “Graduating with Some Distinction”. The third was also a student I’d been privileged to get to know a little who said to me as he passed me his card, “You da man!” I replied, “No Louis, today, YOU da man!” And he had a massive grin on his face as he went to receive his diploma.
What’s your favourite part of graduation?
Hats off to the class of 2010!