The tears, the tassles, the journey! Today was my last time working the CLA Commencement Ceremony after having worked 8 graduation ceremonies. So bittersweet!
CLA Commencement, be it fall or spring is a big deal. There were some 450-500 CLA graduates at today's ceremony. In the spring, there are two ceremonies because there are so many graduates, last spring there were about 800 grads at one and 600 at the other. All of the grads are excited and nervous, that excitement sometimes makes it hard to get them to listen to instructions, haha, but it all works out.
In spring, the graduates process from Coffman Union down the mall to Northrop. It looks amazing and is a really special moment. Their families stand on the plaza with cameras in hand, proud smiles on their faces, and sometimes tears on their cheeks.
Graduation is not easy, although there are millions who do it every year, there are millions more who will never have that opportunity. It is a privilege and a time of recognition for years of hard work, homework, late nights, and droopy eyes. It is a time for your family and friends to honor you by cheering for you as you walk across the stage. One family today brought a bullhorn, another had each family member hold up a letter of the graduates name...her name was Danyelle, so it took a lot of people.
It is also an honor to be selected as the student speaker for commencement. Today's speaker Mike Lipset, was great. He incorporated spoken word into his piece, illustrating how creative CLA grads can be. He talked about his story and his experiences here at the U as a transfer student. In addition to a student speaker, there is also an alumni speaker and a keynote speaker. It is great to hear words from a peer, but also to those who have come before and been successful. All of the words were inspiring.
This was my last time working Commencement and it caused a lot of mixed emotions from me. Graduating is great but a BIG time of transition and uncertainty. I have 5 more months until it's my turn. I am hoping that a lot happens between now and then to help me prepare mentally. I have loved my time at the U and know it will be a challenge for me to leave, especially when a lot of my friends will be here for another year or so.
Regardless, CONGRATS to all of today's grads and best of luck!
Until next time, BE EZ!