I spent a lot of time on campus this weekend, enjoying Commencement and Reunion activities. On Saturday, I turned up at about 11:00 and greeted a few students who were waiting for the Class Day activities to begin. I was sorry not to join them for the day’s speakers, but I was on my way to a panel on life and careers after Fletcher, offered and attended by alumni from the classes of 1989, 1994, and 1999. I had gone (accompanied by my husband, Paul) to see our friend Charlie Scott F’94, who has recently reinvented himself as the Family Adventure Guy. As it turns out, the panel discussion featured not only his presentation, but also those of three other alums, including the ambassador to the U.S. from Thailand. (Ambassador Isarabhakdi said he had wanted to attend Fletcher since he was a young teen. That’s direction!) The panel took place on the 7th floor of the Cabot Intercultural Center (one of three attached Fletcher buildings). The University is on a hill, giving us a nice view from the 7th floor of both the campus and the city beyond.
The next day was the main event. I came up to campus at about 10:45, by which time Fletcher students were streaming across the street from the all-University ceremony (where, the dean noted, they were a noisy bunch — see photo #19 in the photo gallery) to the Fletcher graduation. At about 11:10, two things were going on. First, a photographer was attempting to wrangle the faculty into a shot.
At the same time, the Registrar’s staff (and any of us who had offered to help) started herding the graduates into Blakeley Hall courtyard, where they would line up for their procession.
Prof. Moomaw, who yesterday became professor emeritus, reflected on his career and experience at Fletcher.
And then came the student speakers, Amy
Both of their speeches were terrific, but Amy scored points with me by mentioning the Admissions Blog! By the end of the ceremony yesterday, speakers had, interestingly, quoted Robert Frost, John Steinbeck, and William Faulkner — not the usual cast of characters for a Fletcher graduation.
Finally, degrees were awarded. Some students invited their children to join them. The award for tiniest diploma recipient (in academic regalia) goes to this tiny tot:
And then it was done! For me, Commencement is an opportunity to celebrate students I have come to know, as well as remind myself of people with whom I was in contact before they enrolled. (Ohhhh! I interviewed her, but totally forgot she was in this class….) For the 310 students who graduated, it was two beautiful blue-skied days, and many, many happy family members. A day for all to remember!