Close

Not a member yet? Register now and get started.

lock and key

Sign in to your account.

Account Login

Forgot your password?

Commencement

Commencement
 

Obviously, another commencement season has come and gone.

My reactions to the season are always more mixed than I would like, as I’m not big on ceremonies. University leadership tries to be represented at each convocation, and there are other ceremonies besides, in addition to the big event, and candidly, there are tiresome aspects.

Slightly more justifiable is the bittersweet reaction to seeing some students leave with whom one has worked over the past few years, knowing that in many cases they won’t keep contact (let alone send alumni gifts to the institution). It would be nice to have better means of knowing, every so often, what happens after graduation with people one liked and esteemed.

On the plus side, it is fun to see our campus so lively for several days, with so many excited clusters of family, friends and photographers and with the bright green (and this year recycled and environmentally sound) robes.

It’s interesting, at least, to sit through several commencement and convocation speeches. It’s a difficult art, and quality varies immensely. Evaluation is compounded by the fact that in our main venue when one is on the platform, acoustics are quite bad, allowing about one word in three to be clearly heard. Sometimes, but not always, I regret this handicap.

And then there is the fun of sharing vicariously in the joy and pride of graduates and families. There’s never an occasion when the diversity of our student body is so clear — and with names so challenging to the intrepid faculty who read them out with such skill.

And then it’s all over, and that’s not all bad either.