Congratulations to the 2012 graduating class of the University of Washington! I am very happy to say that one of my daughters is one of them.
I attended two separate ceremonies. The first was the convocation for the Communications department. There were about 400 graduates attending so the decision was made to hold it outside.
Luckily, someone was smart enough to order tents. I say luckily, because if you play the video you’ll see that the weather was in a rather mischievous mood. I couldn’t find a seat in the tent, so I found a place in a doorway that had a nice overhang. Boy, was I glad I did. That sound you hear at the beginning is not clapping, it is rain!
That was Thursday. On Saturday I went to the big ceremony. There were about 5,000 graduates and 50,000 in the audience. It took a full forty minutes for all the graduates to file in.
For those of you who picture a quiet, dignified ceremony, I’ll let you in on a secret. You cannot keep 5,000 students, or their 50,000 loved ones, quiet for very long.
This particular stretch of time was while students were going to the stage, but honestly, most of the ceremony looked pretty much the same. The only time everyone sat still was the thirty minutes while the main speaker spoke.
All anyone can hope for in a ceremony of this size is a chance to catch sight of their own, particular graduate. And in that, we succeeded!
It was the highlight of the afternoon.
But wait, there’s more! If you ever want to do something really stressful, try to find one person amid a noisy crowd of 55,000.
The graduates use one exit, and everyone else another. So our first chore after we exited the stadium was to find our graduating daughter. Not an easy task amid the vendors, crowd, and music.