Monday, May 16, 2011

It's That Time of Year: Commencement

There are many reasons I enjoy Commencement: celebrating students' real academic achievement and the beginnings of their professional careers; participating in the ritual itself (ours is in Latin which is unique) including academic regalia and the granting of degrees both real and honorary; marking an end in the case of departures and (inferred) new beginnings within a few months.

It is a privilege to meet student families at some point over the course of three days: either after the Baccalaureate Service on Tuesday or at the reception after the Commencement service itself, or even at early breakfast on Wednesday in the refectory. These families have sacrificed a great deal to get to this moment of graduation: most have been transplanted to New York City and made it work for the spouses and the children who must find work and schools respectively.

On the periphery of commencement is the weather--it will probably be rain this year but usually it is fine. And by now Spring is well and truly established in New York City. Recent rains make it lush: columbine, for example, in our seminary grounds is in full bloom.

Commencement also marks a promise of return to more or less uninterrupted academic work over the summer. And our library will be ready for use again this fall after a hiatus of several years.

So let the celebrations begin!  

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