Having worked at Fletcher for a long time, I find that, at a certain level, every graduating class looks the same.  They all include students working hard to learn as much as possible.  They all generate a strong feeling of community. They have vocal and quiet students, leaders and those who enjoy being led.  But, for whatever reasons, some classes seem special, and a special class is graduating on Sunday.

The Admissions Office is always asking students to do something for us.  Conduct interviews.  Host a coffee hour.  Let an admitted student stay with you for the Open House.  Take a survey.  Take another survey.  Staff an online chat.  Write something for the blog.  And more.  It’s a wonder that no one turns to us and says, “Ahem.  Do you realize that we’re not here to do your work for you?”  But they never do say that.  Not out loud, anyway.  So we have the very good fortune to get to know a lot of students.

I can’t list every graduating student in the blog, but I’d like to acknowledge the students who have spent a little extra time in the Admissions Office.  Like Bilal, Caitlin, Kartik, and Lauren, our student interns from this year or last.  If I could bottle a little of Lauren’s good cheer, I would.  No matter what we ask of her, she seems utterly delighted to have the opportunity to do it.  Asked to give the 10th tour of the week, she smiles as if I’ve just handed her a big cupcake.  We haven’t yet found the task that would shake her professionalism.

And Andrew, Rizwan, and Vanessa, who conducted Information Sessions last fall.  Vanessa occupies a special place because she has thanked me for unsolicited advice I gave her several years ago — the same kind of nosy suggestion that causes my family members’ eyes to roll.  Just glad my two cents benefited someone!

There’s also Rishi, Andrew, and Ho-Ming, who gave us two great years on the Admissions Committee.  I recently looked through my notes and discovered that Ho-Ming and I first met in 2007, an unusually long stretch between the first time I met a student and that student’s graduation, and we’ve been at least intermittently in contact for the full five years.

And though I won’t list them all here, there were a bunch of students who provided two years of interviews for us.  The interview program requires a small army of volunteers, and I’m always grateful to have returning interviewers who don’t need anything more than a schedule to jump into.

The extreme hazard in creating a list of students whose presence has added to Fletcher is that there’s always someone else to include.  To avoid egregious omission, I’ll stick to Admissions volunteers and interns.  I see them the most, and I’ll notice their absence daily.  But the Admissions staff always has their eyes out for students we interviewed or whose applications we read.  We watch them as they move along the road from applicant to graduate, sometimes checking in to make sure everything is going o.k.

And, inevitably, we feel wistful every year around Commencement time.  When I hear about the accomplishments and transitions that students have achieved through their Fletcher education, I’m thrilled for them!  But, speaking for everyone in Admissions, we’ll miss them!

CONGRATULATIONS graduating Fletcher students!!  Be sure to keep in touch — link us in, friend us, send an email now and then — and let us follow the story of your post-Fletcher lives!

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