Saturday, May 19, 2012

College Graduation

My brother's girl, Sarah, my godchild, graduated from Westminster College in New Wilmington, PA. A glorious, California day in PA. I'm serious. The sky could not have been bluer than those clear skies and as we sat in the shade, we hardly felt the 80 degree weather.
Parking was almost impossible in this little town. I hoped with it being Saturday, the police would waive the two hour parking limit. I found a spot for the minivan only two blocks away. With the weather being so fine, a stroll to the college felt great. I noted two restaurants we frequented many years ago are now a gift shop and a hair salon. The third is abandoned. The Tavern, though, is still going strong, it seems.
An orchestra played music in front of Old Main. Many people in chairs set up on the lawn. I wandered looking for my sister-in-law, Jody. I'd see a woman with shoulder length black hair, but then it wouldn't be her. I walked past their row twice and they were seated on the end I edged by. Then again, they didn't see me.
I sat by my brother, Dan, wearing a long sleeve dress shirt, but not a suit coat. Prudent for a sunny day. Sarah's best friend, Kelly, was beside me. Then Jody and the other godmother, Judy, also came, of course. And Grandpa Iannari ended the row.
I observed all the styles. The families that came to commemorate their children's milestone. Elegant dresses to sun dresses or pants like most of us. The men in suits, to dress shirts, to some young men in shorts. Grandpas, grandmas, little brothers and sisters all waiting.
Pomp and Circumstance played and played, first by the organ, then some horns, then back to the organ, as the faculty, then graduates filed to the front of Old Main. Jody ran up to get a picture of Sarah. I caught of glimpse of her, with her natural blond hair, curled. A tween boy two rows ahead, started waving at his relative. He had been sleeping before. This scene touched my heart.
The president of the college welcomed us and those relatives here in spirit, as I thought of Mom, Dad and Joanne watching the youngest granddaughter on this great day. The speeches didn't drag on. The honorary degree recipient, graduated in 1980(a senior when I was a freshman nurse with the purse), mentioned a scientist she was teaching students about and they knew him from The Big Bang Theory. Jody did as well.
I studied from where all the students hailed. Mostly very close here in Pennsylvania and Ohio. When I knew people from the college back in 1979-80, many claimed Long Island or New Jersey as their home. This year two were from Salt Lake City, UT, with the same last name, a few from New York and one from Florida.
Kelly snapped a picture of Sarah right after she got her diploma. Soon, it was on Facebook and Sarah was texting her. Oh, these modern times I love. Actions we only partially imagined are common place for the twenty-somethings.
The teaching staff lined the walkway as the new graduates exited the platform. Clapping could be heard. This reminded me of St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland. They mentioned the convocation they had for the freshman class here, as I witnessed the one for Katie. I thought if she had graduated from St. John's, how the temperature would have been so much hotter.
Sarah Jean Lewis
Proud parents and daughter
Old Main
Overall, this ceremony was beautiful, full of tradition and elegance. I was thankful for the fine weather, as I may not have been able to witness it, if it had to be inside. To all the graduates of 2012, I wish Godspeed and blessings.
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