The Classy Class of 2010

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 πŸ™‚ 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!

Grant

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8 thoughts on “The Classy Class of 2010

  1. Favourite part(s) of graduation:
    1. the nervous excitement as grads get ready in the gym
    2. the look of pure joy and sense of accomplishment when their names are read and they can start walking across the platform
    3. the look of joy and pride on faculty members’ faces as they watch ‘their students’

    Most touching moment of the class of 2010 graduation ceremonies: the conferral of a degree posthumously for Ashley Tate. Watching her fellow students as they moved from excited chatter and congratulating each other to quiet respect and an instant, somber standing ovation as her mother walked onto the platform. Seeing some of those students come from their seats with tears to hug her, to say congratulations and show their respect again. Very moving, but I was so proud of our grads in that moment.

    Congratulations to all TWU class of 2010 grads! You guys rock!

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  2. Grant,

    You brought tears to my eyes with this story! You have the best position at TWU!! What a joy to see all their faces and eyes as they graduate. It makes me want to be a Registrar!

    Sheila

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  3. Grant–What a great post–thank you for sharing your convocation experience. When I was Registrar at MacEwan and got to hand grads their parchments, I was always in wonder at the students who had tears in their eyes and so much emotion in their faces. I wondered how much some of them had sacrificed to get their education. How many sitters cancelled on some of our single parents when they were studying? How much ichiban soup was eaten? How many hours were spent studying instead doing other things?

    And besides watching the emotion in their faces, I have to admit that a few of us like to look at the classy shoes that cross the stage πŸ˜‰

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  4. I’m impressed you got your graduation ceremony completed so soon after the end of semester! We don’t hold ours until the first week of June. My favourite part each year is seeing everyone, for at least that one day, all happy and smiling. My favourite moment ever was when a young man graduated from Nursing a couple of years ago stopped after I gave him his parchment and he said (paraphrased), “You were so helpful when I was trying to get into the program, I wouldn’t be here today without you.” Wow. That was nice to hear! Oh yeah, like Stephanie, I also like the shoes. πŸ™‚

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    1. Fred, it makes it easier that we don’t give out any parchments at the ceremony. We’re still collecting grades by then. We issue diplomas near the end of May.
      Regarding shoes – one year, the entire Nursing cohort walked across the stage in their nursing booties. Another year they all wore stethescopes! This year was lame – they didn’t do anything.

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