College graduations are always special events— finally having that Bachelor’s or Master’s degree and finally not having that tuition bill is really something to celebrate. In our case, our son Adam finished at the University of Vermont in May 2018 with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and we were all really happy to have been there to witness the event.
The UVM graduation is done in two stages, with a general ceremony in the morning and then a school specific event in the afternoon. It’s a great and convenient excuse for parents and relatives not to have to attend the main ceremony which involves no individual awarding of degrees but includes many speeches, some of them good. This year’s general event included a heavy downpour which provided a great excuse for non-attendance. Adam and his friends made it through some of it until the rain became too intense. The main commencement speaker was the governor of Vermont, Phil Scott. My small world story on that is that Phil was in my high school class, as well as my UVM class. I obviously did not go the governorship route for my career.
The main ceremony was in the Flynn Theatre, which also brought back memories for me since I had last been in there in 1978 for a Woodie Guthrie concert. That concert was superb, and included some of his greatest hits, with the notable absence of “Alice’s Restaurant” to the chagrin of the entire crowd. Note these concerts were pre concert T-shirt days, so I unfortunately did not “get the T-shirt” to prove I went.
College graduations have not changed much, but since J.K. Rowling wrote the Harry Potter series, we all secretly think that the graduates look like they are from the various houses of Hogwart’s when they march in. This ceremony started with a processional of bagpipers playing “Scotland the Brave,” making it even harder to remove Potter-like thoughts from our minds. It was a bit of strange mash-up, but we were all glad to have to not to listen to “Pomp and Circumstance” piped in over a less than state-of-the-art public address system.
The ceremony went well, with the commencement speaker was also from my 1980 UVM class. The Dean of the School did a great job and it went smoothly. We went to a UVM reception at the Hilton right after the ceremony, which was attended by about 100 and had food for about 20. All in all, a great day for Adam and we were pleased to be part of it. Adam joins, me, my sister Dorothy, my nephew Charles, my brother-in-law Mark as UVM graduates. Go Cats!