A couple of weeks ago my daughter, Blair, graduated from college. From a freshman year that was all about getting into that special sorority, to graduating summa cum laude as a plant science major, it’s been quite a trip.
She was persuaded to take honors courses based on her big ACT score and being the valedictorian. Unfortunately, her high school course work hadn’t been that demanding, so she had to really hit the ground running to deal with those. She got it done, even while taking the sorority trip. Not only did she get the academics done in style, she had a good time while there, and managed to get her degree in four years. Yeah, we’re proud.
The Honors College ceremony was predictably stodgy, held in the ambience of the Francis quadrangle, with The Columns in the background. "Pomp and Circumstance" played over loudspeakers. We stood so far away from the dais that everyone looked like ants, as the cliche goes.
Then it was on to the Ag School graduation ceremony. Actually it’s CAFNR, the college of agriculture, food and natural resources. Held in the Hearnes multi-purpose building (think cavernous arena), the atmosphere was a little different. For one thing, they had live music. The Columbia Community Band was playing marches and show-tunes, and they played "Pomp and Circumstance" live. That was much better. The Dean warmed up the crowd with the M – I – Z and Z – O – U cheer that they usually do in the football stadium, and encouraged folks to clap, stomp and yell for their graduates. They even had air-horns. Yeah, the graduates were pretty far away, but we could see them on the jumbotron. It’s the first time I’ve seen someone I know on a jumbotron. [Click on the picture: the jumbotron’s in the upper right corner]
Both ceremonies featured a prominent appeal from the alumni association before they ever tossed their mortarboards.