OCC gets graduation ceremony right

Hail to the graduates of Onondaga Community College.

Our graduate Elisabeth, in particular.

But to all of them, really.

Lots of deserving graduates.

Lots of deserving graduates.

The bustling college that serves the county that houses the city of Syracuse did it up right.

The crowd arrives.

The crowd arrives.

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.

Pointing out the one we know.

Pointing out the one we know.

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.

Where's Elisabeth?

Where’s Elisabeth?

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.

Receiving her diploma.

Receiving her diploma.

After she returned to her seat, Karen and I walked down for my one close up of the morning.

Celebrating the occasion.

Celebrating the occasion.

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?


20 thoughts on “OCC gets graduation ceremony right

  1. Great photos Mark – the one up close of Elizabeth was the best. I liked the one of the striped shirt and then Elizabeth’s face – cool. How did you ever figure out where she was? I am amazed by the number of graduates and the turnout. Whew! The last grad I attended was my own with the last degree. They are exciting. My Mum came down to Kingston for that one. Honestly I was surprised I graduated. πŸ˜€


    • I am not surprised you graduated, Paul. You put your mind to something, and it happens!

      Modern technology helped me get that faraway photo. I texted Elisabeth, asking her to turn toward us and wave. Then I quickly switched to camera mode and aimed in that direction, clicking away and hoping. It worked.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations to all of you! I remember all three of my girls’ college graduations – I didn’t have any trouble spotting them in the crowded auditorium, but finding them in the milling crowd after the ceremony was nerve-wracking! Thank heavens for cell phone – “I’m standing by the pillar to the left of the front door, and I’m going to stay RIGHT HERE until YOU find ME!”


  3. WOW! I love your description of where to find Elisabeth! I love that she’s on the shirt. And I love love love the closeup of her happy face! YAY Team Elisabeth!!! πŸ˜€ ❀


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