Hail to the graduates of Onondaga Community College.
Our graduate Elisabeth, in particular.
But to all of them, really.
The bustling college that serves the county that houses the city of Syracuse did it up right.
Families and friends arrived with the graduates to file into the big SRC Arena on a gray and getting-chilly Saturday morning in mid-May.
Before we entered, my dear wife Karen and I spotted a sidewalk sale. We didn’t buy the T-shirt, but Karen had fun finding Elisabeth’s name among the graduates.
Hover over any gallery photo for a description. Click on any image for an enlarged slide show.
By the 10 a.m. start time, the all-purpose arena was full for the procession, led by bagpipers followed by thousands of students and a hundred faculty members.
The speeches were short, and yes, sweet.
It took a series of texts and a request from me for Elisabeth to stand and wave for us to spot her in the sea of caps and gowns.
Find the guy in the black-and-white striped shirt. Move left and down to the student facing the camera. That’s Elisabeth.
I made the most of my iPhone 6 zoom and the college’s video work to capture the moment she was handed her associate’s degree in the physical therapist assistant program.
After she returned to her seat, Karen and I walked down for my one close up of the morning.
Yes, my terrific daughter, in the center, did appear happy to pose for her father.
And I was proud of her hard work these past two years after her decision to return to school with a bachelor’s degree in hand because she’d discovered the career that would really make her happy.
The three asterisks indicate Elisabeth’s Summa Cum Laude standing, a finishing GPA of 3.8-4.0. No, I never did.
When was the last time you attended a graduation, and who graduated? Have you purchased an ad to congratulate anybody, and if so, what were your wishes? What is your favorite photo, and why?