We had our 2012 Commencement Ceremony at Curry College this past weekend, and, as usual, I came away exhausted but filled with optimism.
What a day!
Ø 850 undergraduate and graduate degrees conferred
Ø International representation: seven countries
Ø U.S.: 19 states plus Puerto Rico
Not bad for a small private college parked in Milton, Mass., cozily on the southern tip of one of the coolest cities in the U.S…Boston.
Given the number of graduates…plus the student speakers…plus the Commencement speaker…and all the other stuff that goes into a college graduation…the three-hour ceremony wasn’t bad.
Things went relatively smoothly, and our president, Kenneth K. Quigley, Jr. (for whom, by the way, I would cheerfully dogpaddle through molten lava and broken glass on a mission), was awesome.
Ken believes in Curry College, and I honestly believe that his commitment to our college and his optimism is felt by each and every student who passes through our halls.
He has been with us (way before my time) through the good years as well as the not-so-good. And he has remained steadfastly committed to seeing us maintain our status as a first-class liberal arts institution.
Back to the day.
Immediately following the conferring of degrees, we faculty members lined up outside the tent to applaud the new graduates as they proceeded out to join their friends and family members.
And this is where the fun really began. I must have personally spoken to/ shaken hands with/hugged more than 50 former students from one or more of my public relations classes as they filed past…each of them with a gleam of pride in their eyes and a freshly-conferred diploma in their hands.
Then, once everyone was out, the real mingling began…students with their parents/spouses/friends excitedly reliving the morning and seeking out former professors to introduce and get photos taken.
As I’ve commented numerous times in past, I love seeing the look of pride in the eyes of parents/spouses/friends as the impact of the morning sinks in.
And I love, when one of them thanks me for what I’ve done over the past four years for his or her son or daughter, to respond…from the heart… “Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to meet and to study and learn with your [son/daughter]!”
It’s nice to know that my efforts are appreciated. But it’s even nicer to believe, as I do, in the ability of that son or daughter to succeed.
It’s a win-win-win...
Ø The son or daughter believes that there is a fresh new world ahead.
Ø The parent/spouse/friend believes that great things lie ahead and the “bumps” that have occurred over the past four years were worth it.
Ø I believe in the inherent ability of anyone who wishes to do so to succeed.
No matter whose perspective you represent…optimism rocks!!
“The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible world; and the pessimist fears this is true.” – James Branch Cabell, “The Silver Stallion” , ch. 26