In just two days, the Fletcher class of 2010 will graduate.  Every class includes a few people for whom I feel a particular fondness or connection.  Sunday’s cap-and-gowned group is loaded with special people, many of whom you may have read about in the blog.  Allow me to mention just a few.

Going back two full years, there’s Hania Bekdash, who started work in the Admissions Office before she even started classes, and has been a member of our Admissions family ever since.

Then there’s Jessie Evans, who didn’t turn up at Fletcher until Orientation, but was a regular pre-matriculation presence on the blog.  During her two years here, Jessie helped bring us an annual bone marrow registry drive, a simple but invaluable means of engaging with the wider world.

Joshua Haynes visited on the day we set aside in February ’08 for admitted students who had applied by the Early Notification deadline.  He was the first real-live MIB student I had met.  (This is less strange than it sounds, since he is a member of the first MIB class.)  Not only has Joshua made as much of his time here as we ever could have hoped, but he holds this year’s unofficial record for languages in which he has passed the proficiency exam:  six (I think), including Mandarin and Arabic.

Another Admissions Office student staffer:  Jessie Smith.  As far as I can tell, there’s nothing she didn’t do while she was here!  Ski trips, Student Council, Ambassachords….The final confirmation that she had a hand in literally everything came when the first emails went out about the Diplomat’s Ball.  Surely she couldn’t be organizing that, too!  Oh, yes, she could.

Among other high energy students, Han Kim, who made the School proud when he whipped a Fletcher flag from the pack he carried all the way through the Boston Marathon last spring.  Han is heading out to a PhD program — apparently his Fletcher experience left him wishing for more reading and writing.

Rounding out the roster of graduating students who worked in the Office is Kristin Mencer.  Kristin could always be counted on for her good cheer and contagious laugh, even when she worked in the morning, which, she acknowledged, is not her favorite time of day.

The list of great members of the class of 2010 could go on and on. There’s Reuben Levy who, like Hania, started working at Fletcher before he was even a student; Greg Bertleff, who seems endlessly cheerful; Lola Adeyemo, whom I first met when she was a member of a group of undergraduates who came for a visit.  There are those I saw regularly, those I barely met, and those I learned about through their application and then kept a quiet eye on, always interested in learning what they would add to the community.  And, of course, there’s the long list of students to whom we feel truly grateful:  on behalf of the Admissions Office, they interviewed, on-line chatted, housed admitted students, and generally made our jobs doable.

The soon-to-graduate students in two-year programs (MALD and MIB) started their application process not quite three years ago.  Around that same time, my son, Josh, started his applications to college.  Watching/helping Josh, as he anguished over essays and anxiously awaited responses from his schools, helped me relate to Fletcher applicants.  Is this why I’ll especially miss the 2010s?  Or are they just an uncommonly special bunch of people?  Hard to say, but I know that I hope to hear from them soon, and often, as they go off to change the world.

Congratulations, graduates!  We’ll miss you!

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3 Responses to Bye-bye. (Sniff.)

  1. You’re very welcome, Han. It has been a pleasure to get to know you during the past two years. Best of luck in your PhD studies!

  2. Han KIM says:


    Thank you for mentioning my name.

    Good luck with everything and hope to see you again some day.



  3. Congratulations to the Fletcher Class of 2010!

    Jessica, you have such a pleasant way of blogging about the happenings there. Its so infectious!

    Few more exams to go here at St. Olaf.

    I will be in touch with you in the beginning of August. Have a good summer!


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