‘Hope Not Fear:’ A university president reflects on the emotion of commencement day
One of my greatest pleasures is commencement day. At Methodist University, we have a tradition where each student earning a bachelor’s degree chooses a person to accompany them to the stage and hood them before I hand them their diploma. I am always moved by the smiles, tears, joy, and relief. This year, with our commencement happening Mother’s Day weekend, many students chose their moms to hood them. I always think about the fact that “commencing” also involves parting and separation. That was palpable in this pandemic year, as I watched moms, dads, faculty, and other family members hood and hug the graduates. It caused me to think a lot about how hard it can be as a parent, or a professor, to let go of these exceptional young adults, in whom we have invested such time and care, and watch them head out into the world.
Originally published: May 23, 2021
Author: Stan Wearden
Institution: Methodist University
Published by: USA Today