Our daughter, Elizabeth, crossed a major threshold in her life. Today, 15 June, 2013, University of California Santa Cruz conferred upon her the Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. Within a few months, she will have completed all requirements for a second Bachelor’s Degree in Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology. We were proud to celebrate this tremendous accomplishment with her. We tried to capture in a few pictures, some of our celebration with her.
Our daughter graduated from college on 15 June 2013. This is a day she has worked so very hard to reach. And we are so very proud of her.
The mascot of the University of California Santa Cruz is the banana slug. A sports site voted this mascot the 9th worst mascot of American Universities.
Elizabeth’s mother baked her a graduation cake. It could only be a banana slug.
Elizabeth waited to begin the ceremony with two of her friends, Ali and Tony.
The well wishers found their seats. Then, the graduates filed in.
Elizabeth marched with her friend, Ali.
400 graduates settled into the bleachers for the ceremony. The graduates sat in two separate stands.
David Evan Jones, Provost, and Professor of Music, opened the ceremony, welcomed the graduates and well wishers. He thanked the families and friends for helping, supporting and being there for the graduates. He offered advice to the graduates, telling them that they were unlikely to successfully plan their lives out and then fill in the details as they went along. Rather, they would find their lives by confronting challenges, hopefully successfully, and their lives would fill in around that.
Casper Gorner, the first student speaker, was the best speaker of the day. He spoke of the challenges his fellow graduates had met. Meeting those challenges had helped define who he is, going forward.
Eddie Sanchez was the second student speaker. He spoke of the challenges the graduates had overcome, and how this would equip them for success going forward.
Jennifer Parker, Associate Professor of Art, urged the graduates to immerse themselves in life, to live it. She asked them to store their memories and experiences in their minds, not in electronic devices.
Gustavo Vazquez, Associate Professor of Film and Digital Media, spoke of his early experiences in sharing movies with his Grandfather in Mexico. His Grandfather taught him he could go places and see things, and be a world traveler, without ever leaving home. He felt that film allowed him to offer this opportunity to others.
Throughout the speeches, Elizabeth bravely listened. We suspect that, more than once, the thought crossed her mind, wondering why she had ever agreed to take part in this. Her parents are very grateful she did, that she allowed us to be a small part of her life.
Finally, the speeches were over. George Blumenthal, Chancellor, presented the degrees to the graduates. The presentations lasted about 90 minutes.
They began to hand out the degrees. The bleachers Elizabeth sat in were the first to go.
Elizabeth walked across the stage, was given her degree, and received the congratulations of the Chancellor. This fifteen second walk, was the culmination of years of work.
Back in the stands, Elizabeth waited, while the other bleachers received their diplomas
George Blumenthal, Chancellor, conferred the degrees given to each graduate. He empowered them with all the rights and privileges of their diplomas.
Marian (Elizabeth’s Mother), Elizabeth, and Pat (Elizabeth’s Dad), together.
Marian (Elizabeth’s Mother), Elizabeth, Pat (Elizabeth’s Dad), David (Elizabeth’s Brother), and Mitch (Elizabeth’s Boy Friend) together, after the ceremony.
Marian (Elizabeth’s Mother), Pat (Elizabeth’s Dad), David (Elizabeth’s Brother), Mitch (Elizabeth’s Boy Friend), and Elizabeth, celebrating over lunch.