This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Graduation Sunday

Yesterday Saint Joseph's College held its 115th annual commencement exercises. It began with the march of faculty members and students from Halleck Center to the gymnasium where parents and friends of the graduates waited.
There are protocols for the academic costumes that you see in the picture above. The three stripes on the sleeve indicate that the individual has a doctorate. The colors on the hoods represent the school from which the degree was obtained and also, I believe, the discipline of the wearer. These can be rented or purchased. Early in my career at SJC I purchased a very cheap gown and hood, but because it was very cheap, the gown eventually fell apart. My solution was the solution of one of the professors who was at SJC when I came, Bill Verbrugge. Rather than pay the rental fee, he had assembled an outfit from various places, including the robe from high school graduations, and no one seemed to notice. For the past eight or ten years I have used a high school tassel and motor board and a high school gown, and if anyone noticed, they did not complain.

There were about 150 students listed in the program. Below many of them are waiting outside of Raleigh Hall for the line to start moving again.
The event began with an invocation and the national anthem (sung beautifully by senior Sarah Wright) and some speeches. The students were then awarded degrees, a few more speeches were given, and the ceremony closed with a benediction and a final march of everyone out of the building.

I have been to about 35 of these and mostly they have blurred together. I do remember that for one of my first graduations, I wore shorts under my robes because the day was extremely hot. I was told afterward that there was discussion by the crowd in the bleachers above about what, if anything, I had on under the robe. The next year the dean sent out a memo telling the faculty, at that time mostly male, that long pants were to be worn, and not shorts.

I remember little of the speeches. An exception was the year that the senior of the year talked about how much fun he and his classmates had had with their endless parties. The next year the new senior of the year gave a milder version of the same talk. Since that time the senior of the year has not been on the program as a speaker.

I took a few pictures, but only a few turned out well. None of mine are likely to be nearly as good as the pictures being taken by these two ladies with really good cameras.
After the ceremony, there was a chance to socialize and say some final goodbye at the reception held on the plaza in front of the Core Building. For the students, some of those goodbyes will be final. They will scatter to many parts of the nation and never again see some of their classmates.
I have always been amazed at how few of the graduates I know. I have taught only those who take courses in my area and a few extra in Core classes, so I usually know only about one third of the class.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to all who participated-student graduates, professors, and staff.